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This fruit-and-veg-packed stuffing is baked outside of the turkey for extra-crispy results.
MAKE-AHEAD: This recipe can be made ahead of time. Just prep up until the baking step and freeze it for a few weeks or refrigerate for a few days then bake according to instructions below when you’re ready to serve (defrost first if you’re freezing it).
Try it with the rest of Rach’s make-ahead Thanksgiving menu:
- 6 cups homemade croutons, using a combination of peasant, whole wheat, and sourdough bread, or 1 bag stuffing cubes, such as sage and onion or traditional Pepperidge Farm brand
- 1-2 tablespoon Bell’s ground poultry seasoning
- 1 butternut squash, around 1 pound of squash, chopped the same size as breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- 1 stick butter, divided
- 5 to 6 ribs celery from the heart, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 large crisp apples, such as Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or Macoun, left unpeeled and diced
- 2 large fresh bay leaves
- 1/2 cup loosely packed herbs, such as fresh parsley, sage, and thyme, finely chopped
- 1 quart chicken or turkey stock
Preheat oven to 375°F.
If making your own breadcrumbs, dice half of the bread into ½ inch dice. Place the other half of the bread in a food processor and process into large crumbs. Spread bread over 2 large shallow baking pans and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Bell’s ground poultry seasoning and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through baking, until completely dry, about 25 minutes. Transfer bread to a large bowl.
On a sheet tray, mix butternut squash with olive oil, allspice, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Roast until nice and crisp, around 10-15 minutes.
Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter foams, add the celery, onion, apples, bay, herbs, and salt and pepper, and cook to soften 10-12 minutes. Add cubed bread and roasted squash, then season with 1 tablespoon Bell’s and moisten with stock; stir to absorb.
Butter a casserole dish with 1/2 tablespoon of the remaining butter and fill pan with stuffing. Use the rest of the butter to dot top. Roast the stuffing 30-40 minutes until crispy at the edges.