Duck aside, this stuffing was, for me, the highlight of our Friendsgiving meal. I will always secretly love out-of-the-box stuffing best, but this pancetta/sage version is truly killer.
To start with, the base of this recipe was the most glorious loaf of white bread (from the Chinese market up the street, oddly enough). I know white bread is supposed to be really bad for you and have no redeemable nutritional value, but it’s kind of perfect for this type of recipe. It’s fluffy, soft, flavorful, and amazingly slice-able/toast-able – what’s not to love?
Throw some crispy pancetta, veggies, and herbs into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a seriously delectable savory side dish for the holidays. It’s not as wet as the box stuff – you can actually tell it’s bread when you bite into it, which is arguably a good thing. Lots of great pork-y flavor, and a nice chew. Not a bad addition to my holiday recipe arsenal!
- 1 loaf of white bread (about 1 lb), cubed (approx 6-1/2 cups)
- ½ lb pancetta, diced
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced (about 1 medium yellow onion)
- 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 5 large fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken or beef stock
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Butter a round or square baking dish and set aside.
- Spread bread cubes out in a single layer on two sheet pans and bake for 10 minutes, or until barely toasted. Remove and set aside.
- In a large saute pan, cook your pancetta over medium-high heat until slightly browned and crispy (about 5-7 minutes), stirring frequently.
- Scoop crisped pancetta onto paper towels to drain. Leave the pancetta grease in the pan.
- Bring heat down to medium and add your diced onion, celery, and green onion. Season with salt/pepper to taste, and cook until all your veggies are softened and translucent (about 10 minutes).
- Stir in the chopped sage, and cook just until fragrant.
- Turn off the heat and add your crispy pancetta back into the pan, along with your toasted bread cubes and chicken/beef broth. Toss mixture to moisten bread cubes.
- Taste mixture again and then season with more salt/pepper to taste (if needed).
- Pour lightly beaten eggs over the mixture and stir until everything is uniformly coated.
- Spoon stuffing mixture into your prepared baking dish.
- Bake for about 60 minutes, until top is browned.
- Serve warm.
(Slightly adapted from A Cozy Kitchen)