1 loaf crusty gluten-free bread, like gluten-free brown bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 ounces chopped raw pecans
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced
5 celery stalks, chopped
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
leaves from 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
5 extra-large eggs (300 g) at room temperature, beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
3 cups (24 fl. oz.) vegetable or chicken stock
8 ounces dried cranberries (optional)
Preheat your oven to 225°F. Grease two 8-inch or 9-inch square baking dishes and set them aside.
Dry the bread. Scatter the cubes of bread in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Place in the center of the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the bread is dried and just beginning to crisp. Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside for the bread to cool.
Toast the pecans. Scatter the pecans in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the center of the oven. Allow to bake until the pecans are just beginning to become fragrant and have begun to brown slightly, about 7 minutes. Remove the pecans from the oven and set them aside. Raise the oven temperature to 350°F.
Sauté the vegetables. In a medium-size skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and potatoes, and then the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and the celery and potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes. To speed the cooking time, periodically cover the pot and allow the vegetables to “sweat” for a minute or so. Then uncover the pot, and continue to cook while stirring. Add the fresh thyme and stir to combine.
Assemble the stuffing. Place the eggs and cream in a large bowl, and beat to combine. Add the cubes of bread, and toss to coat. Add the sautéed vegetables and the stock, and then the cranberries and toasted pecans, and toss to combine. Divide the stuffing evenly between the prepared baking dishes, and spread into an even layer in each dish.
Bake the stuffing. Place the baking dishes side by side in the center of the preheated oven and bake, swapping the places of each dish and rotating both dishes once during baking, until the stuffing is set and lightly golden brown all over (25-30 minutes). Serve warm.
Notes. 1. The unbaked stuffing can be assembled, covered tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. When ready to bake, allow sit out, covered, until the dish comes to room temperature (about an hour). Bake as directed. 2. Leftover stuffing that is moistened with about 1/2 cup of stock can be reheated in the oven at 300°F for about 10 minutes or until warmed throughout. 3. The stuffing can be baked in a single layer in a 9-inch by 21-inch baking dish, and baked at 325°F for about 45 minutes.
Happy, happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of both of My Cookbooks! I can’t keep the blog going without your support!