9 cups bread cubes (12 slices bread)
Nonstick cooking spray
9 slices bacon
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped red onions
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 teaspoon dried sage, crushed
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
2 large Granny Smith or fuji apples, peeled (if desired), cored, and coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (6 cloves)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
Small fresh sage leaves (optional)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Spread bread cubes in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan.
- Bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until cubes are dry, stirring twice; cool. (Cubes will continue to dry and crisp as they cool.) Or let bread cubes stand, loosely covered, at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with cooking spray; set aside.
- In an extra large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels; crumble bacon. Drain fat, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet.
- Add butter to skillet. Add onions, celery, and herbs; cook over medium heat for 7 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Add apples and garlic; cook and stir for 2 to 4 minutes or until apple is just softened. Transfer to an extra large bowl.
- Add bread cubes, crumbled bacon, and pepper to vegetable mixture; toss gently to combine.
- Add broth and toss until moistened.
- Spoon about 2/3 cup stuffing into each prepared muffin cup; press to pack tightly. If desired, top each cup with a fresh sage leaf.
- Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until stuffing is hot and tops are light brown.
- Cool about 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove from pans; serve warm.
- Makes 12 servings.
Days Til Christmas: 3