Bacon adds richness to this delicious turkey stuffing, and fresh veggies brighten it up. You can prep this meal up to 24 hours ahead of time for less stress on holidays.
1 - cup sliced leeks
1/2 - cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1/4 - cup butter
2 - medium apples, peeled (if desired), cored, and chopped
1 - cup chopped pecans
3/4 - cup snipped dried apricots
1/2 - teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 - cups dry whole wheat or white bread cubes
1 - tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 - tablespoon snipped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1 - tablespoon snipped fresh parsley
1/2 - 3/4 - cup half-and-half or light cream
1 - egg
1 - teaspoon salt
1/2- teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 1-1/2-quart casserole; set aside. In a large skillet, cook leeks and onion in hot butter over medium heat about 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in apples, pecans, apricots, and nutmeg. Cook and stir for 3 minutes more.
In a large bowl, toss together cooked leek mixture, bread cubes, rosemary, thyme, and parsley. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the half-and-half, the egg, salt, and pepper. Add to bread mixture; toss lightly to combine. If necessary, add enough of the remaining half-and-half to make a stuffing of desired moistness.
Transfer stuffing to prepared casserole.* Bake, covered, for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more or until heated through. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the stuffing should register 165 degrees F when stuffing is done. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
FROM THE TEST KITCHEN
Or use bread mixture to stuff one 8- to 10-pound turkey. Place any remaining stuffing in a casserole. Cover and chill casserole until ready to bake. Bake stuffing in covered casserole alongside turkey about 40 minutes or until heated through.