My daughter really doesn’t care for turkey. We were talking about a rating scale and she said that turkey is at the bottom of the list of foods she’ll eat – it only ranks higher than meats she detests and won’t even eat at all! So, the past few years for Christmas and Thanksgiving we’ve done something other than turkey. This means though, that I don’t get to have stuffing so these stuffing muffins are a great compromise.
Flickr, Dinner Series
9 cups bread cubes (if using standard bread, that’s about 12 slices – I used cornbread)
Nonstick cooking spray
9 slices bacon (my daughter really loves bacon and felt this needed more – I’d actually say it needs the whole package)
2 T. bacon
1 1/2 cups chopped onions (the original recipe called for red; I used Vidalia)
3 stalks celery, chopped (I chopped very finely – I don’t mind the flavour that it adds but finding chunks of celery in things bothers me…it’s a texture thing)
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. thyme
2 large apples, peeled (if desired), cored, and chopped (I didn’t peel mine – recipe called for Granny Smith but I prefer something a little sweeter and had Royal Galas on hand so I used those……..I also threw in some toasted pecans – walnuts are good too – and some dried cranberries YUM!)
1 T. minced garlic – about 6 cloves (I roasted my garlic first)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chicken broth (I prefer a moister stuffing than this turned out to be so I would add more broth next time – or add some water as well. Also, I grew up with my mom’s stuffing which always had an egg or two in it – it added a lovely creamy texture and taste so I think I’d add some egg to this as well).
The original recipe garnished each “muffin” with a fresh sage leaf – looked really pretty!
Instructions: If the bread cubes aren’t already dried, place on a baking sheet in a 300 degree F oven for about 10-15 minutes, giving an occasional stir. OR you can simply let them sit overnight until dried out. Spray 12 muffin cups with cooking spray. Cook the bacon until crisp and remove from pan, reserving 2 T. of the fat in the pan. Drain and crumble the bacon. Put the butter in the skillet with the onions, celery, and herbs. Cook until the vegetables are tender – about 8-10 minutes. Add the apples and garlic and cook for another 2-5 minutes until the apple is softened.
Place contents of the skillet in a large bowl with the bread cubes, the bacon, and salt and pepper. Mix together. Stir in the broth/water (and eggs if using) and combine until moistened. Spoon into the muffin cups – about 2/3 cup per section – press down to pack into the muffin cups. Top with sage leaf if using. Bake 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees F until stuffing is cooked through and tops are golden brown. Cool 5-10 minutes before serving to allow to firm up. These can be prepared ahead of time – after cooking place in a cover container in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Warm up in 400 degree F oven covered with foil for about 15-20 minutes until heated through.