Thanksgiving is probably, as for most people, one of my favourite holidays of the year. Mainly for the food really. Even during the holidays, I try to keep my recipes pretty clean and this year, I really wanted to make a stuffing I WAS ACTUALLY GOING TO EAT. I alway make (not to brag) pretty amazing stuffing, but bread is not at all a part of my diet so I usually just drool as I watch my guests devour the fruit of my labour. This year it was going to be different. I too, would be able to enjoy the best part of this great holiday.
I pretty much kept the same recipe I always make but used a Paleo-friendly bread instead of a baguette. I got pretty lucky that I found a delicious coconut bread at my local health food store so I decided to save myself some time and use it. But there are tons of amazing Paleo bread recipes out there that would work really well with this recipe. I will post one here shortly!
The idea is you want to make your own croutons out of the bread. So basically use any bread of your liking, can be Paleo, Gluten Free or just good old wheat bread, as long as the bread is at least 1 or 2 days old so it’s a bit stale.
I made 2 different batches of stuffing, one with Paleo bread and one with a baguette, and no one could tell the difference. And I know there are lots of good stuffing recipes out there, but trust me, this is the bomb!
Set the oven at 375f degrees. To make the croutons, start by slicing bread into 1 inch cubes. In a mixing bowl, combine 2 tbsp of olive oil, about 1/4 cup of melted butter, your 5 minced garlic cloves, about half the fresh parsley and salt & pepper. Toss bread cubes into butter and oil mixture until well coated. Lay evenly on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for about 15 minutes or until crisp and golden.
In the meantime, cook sausages in a frying pan on medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until almost cooked thoroughly. They should still have a little bit of pink in the middle. They will finish cooking with the rest of the ingredients. Cut in small chunks and set aside. Do the same for the bacon. Cook until almost done, cut in small chunks and set aside. Reserve the fat for the next step.
In a big frying pan or wok, heat up the remaining butter and the bacon fat until it starts to bubble. Start by adding dried sage and cook until fragrant, then add chopped celery, onions and apples. Stirring every minute or so, make sure the mixture is nicely coated with the butter and bacon fat. After a couple minutes, pour about 1/4 cup of white wine into the pan and let simmer. Cook until onions and celery become translucent, about 5 minutes or so.
In the same wok, incorporate your croutons as well as sausages and bacon. Mix all ingredients well and incorporate another 1/4 cup of wine. Let simmer until croutons have absorbed the wine.
Add remaining parsley, all fresh herbs, fresh and dried cranberries and candied nuts (if using). Add 1/4 cup of broth until well absorbed. Repeat the process until your stuffing has softened up a bit but don't let it get too mushy. If you like to add more wine and less broth it is to your discretion. Play around with it and see if you want to add anything to it (salt, pepper, maybe more garlic). When your stuffing has reached the right consistency, set aside. You will need to bake it at 325f degrees for about 30 minutes prior to serving.
Note: I personally don't like to put my stuffing directly into the turkey but this again, is totally up to you.
Additional note: I usually like to start my turkey about one hour prior to my stuffing so that I can use the pan drippings and stock for the stuffing.