I prefer making dressing, but you could certainly use this recipe for stuffing if you like to include the bird. I make my own croutons anytime I have a half used baguette and keep them on-hand. They’re cheap, delicious, and pretty effortless. If you prefer to buy the bread already prepared, you can absolutely do that.
Left-over baguette (you can also use brioche…yum!)
2 T. butter
Cut the baguette into 1″ cubes. I like to use the crust and don’t bother to cut it away. You’ll want about 4 C. of bread cubes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place butter on a large sheet pan and place in oven to melt. Remove from oven and add baguette cubes. Toss lightly to coat all of the pieces. Place back in oven and let cook about 15 minutes until golden and crisp. Be careful not to burn them. Remove from oven. Let cool and store until ready to use.
Apple Bacon Stuffing/Dressing:
4 slices of bacon, chopped
2 carrots, small diced
2 celery stalks, small diced
1 large onion, small diced
1 apple, cored and small diced (skin is fine to leave on unless you prefer to remove it)
4 C. croutons (above)
2 T. butter
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 – 2 C. chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Let cook until golden and remove from pan. Set bacon aside and reserve grease in pan. Using the same pan with the grease, add the carrots, celery and onion. Let cook 2-3 minutes. Add apple and let cook an additional 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender and onions are translucent. Add croutons and butter and let combine. Add garlic and let cook an additional 30 seconds, being careful not to brown the garlic. Add 1 C. of chicken stock and let incorporate. Depending on moisture of the mixture, add an additional 1/2 C. to 1 C. of stock. Let incorporate and fluff with fork. Remove from heat and place in a greased oven proof dish. If you are going to stuff your bird, this is when you would do it, however you would incorporate the reserved bacon before doing so. Otherwise place the pan in the oven as is and cook for 20-30 minutes until lightly golden on top and set. Check midway through and add more chicken stock if needed to keep it most. Remove from oven and top with reserved bacon.