Butternut Squash Stuffing

12 cups (1/2” cubes) sourdough bread (from 1 pound loaf)

8 oz. bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2” pieces

1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2” chunks

2 stalks celery, chopped

8 oz. shallots (about 4 large), finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage leaves

Salt and ground black pepper

3 cups chicken broth

 

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Divide bread between two 15 1/2” by 10 1/2” jelly roll pans or large cookie sheets. Place pans on 2 oven racks and toast bread 30 to 35 minutes or until golden, stirring bread and rotating pans between  upper and lower racks halfway through toasting. Cool bread in pans on wire racks.

2. Meanwhile, in nonstick 12” skillet, cook bacon over medium heat 15 to 20 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. With slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a very large bowl.

3. Remove all but 3 tablespoons bacon fat from skillet. Add butternut squash, celery, and shallots, and cook over medium heat 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and shallots are lightly browned, stirring frequently. Remove skillet from heat; stir in sage, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

4. To bowl with bacon, add bread and broth; toss and mix well. Add vegetable mixture and toss.

5. Use squash mixture to stuff 12 to 16 pound turkey, or spoon into a greased 13” by 9” glass baking dish. Cover baking dish with foil and bake in preheated 325°F oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and stir stuffing. Bake 25 minutes longer or until heated through and lightly browned on top.

 

Note: Bread can be toasted up to a week ahead and stored in plastic bags. Steps 2 through 4 can be made up to 2 day ahead. Spoon mixture into a greased dish, cover with foil and refrigerate. When ready to heat, bake at 325° F for 35 minutes covered and then 35 minutes uncovered.

 

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