Yes, we know it’s not technically stuffing, but this baked brioche number will have your taste buds doing a happy dance this Thanksgiving…or really, anytime. Here’s a stuffing (ahem, dressing) worthy of your in-laws.
1 brioche loaf, cut into 1-inch cubes and lightly toasted (be careful because brioche burns quickly)
8 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups carrot, small dice
2 cups celery, small dice
2 cups Spanish onion, small dice
4 cloves garlic, smashed
4 sprigs thyme
1 sprig sage, plus 8 leaves
1 quart dark turkey stock or chicken stock (unsalted)
Salt and pepper
You can either buy turkey stock or make your own. We like to take turkey necks, rub them with tomato paste, and roast until very dark. Then add mirepoix, garlic and aromatics, simmer for eight to ten hours, and strain. If you decide to use a stock that has sodium, make sure you adjust your seasoning so the stuffing is not too salty.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large sauté pan, add two tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of the butter. Add thyme, sage and garlic until garlic starts to dance in the pan. Add carrot, celery & onion all at once and cook until translucent. Carefully ladle in stock and cook until stock reduces slightly and vegetables are nicely glazed. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl and allow to cool. Once cool, remove garlic, thyme and sage.
For baking, you can either make individual portions in small oven-proof dishes or bake the stuffing in one large casserole dish. In either case, butter the baking dishes before adding the stuffing.
In a mixing bowl, combine the toasted brioche with half of the vegetable and stock mixture and lightly toss, being careful to not break up the bread too much. Pack the bread mixture into the baking dish(es) and press down until it is tightly packed. Add just enough of the remaining vegetable and stock mixture so that the bread is firm in the dish but not overflowing with liquid. Top with the remaining butter for good measure and garnish with sage leaves.
Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. Remove and rest for 30 minutes before serving. Stuffing can be made a few hours ahead and reheated while your turkey is resting.