This is a delicious change from the Classic Italian Sausage Stuffing. This is my go to stuffing if I am doing a Stuffed Turkey Breast. It is sooooo flavorful with all of the mushrooms and bacon in here, combined with the lighter taste of using the fresh Ciabatta bread. It is more about the extras then the bread stuffing. It really is perfect for stuffing a turkey breast but I also love to use this in a Stuffed Pork Chop. Or you could stuff nothing an just bake it and serve it on it's own. Any way you like it....you gotta try it!!
MUSHROOM & BACON STUFFING
1 LARGE ONION CHOPPED 3 STALKS OF CELERY CHOPPED 6 GARLIC CLOVES CHOPPED 10 SLICES BACON (I USED AN APPLEWOOD SMOKED BACON) 1 LARGE APPLE HANDFUL OF FRESH SAGE CHOPPED 1 PKG (APPROX 2 CUPS) OF BABY BELLA MUSHROOMS CHOPPED 1 LARGE FRESH LOAF OF CIABATTA BREAD 4 TBLSP BUTTER SALT & PEPPER
We are going to start with the bacon. I used an amazing Applewood Smoked Bacon. You can use a regular bacon and it will work perfectly, but if possible grab a great bacon. You will find that the thicker cut and smoky yet sweet flavor of the Applewood really does make a difference in the flavor. I got my bacon at The Fresh Market in Montvale, NJ. I know you have heard me talk about this store before for their famous chicken sale. They have a fantastic variety of different bacon as well as sausage an many other meats. It's worth the trip!!! Great store!! And, of course, while you are there don't forget your loaf of Ciabatta bread! They have an awesome bakery!
We will work all in one large saute pan!!! First we will fry our bacon. You will want to cut it into bits and pieces first because we will add our veggies right on top when cooking. No need to add anything to the pan just throw it in and let it fry until just about brown and crispy.
When you feel your bacon is almost done we are going to add the veggies. Now, do not drain the fat in the pan. We will saute our onions and celery right in here to continue getting that smoky bacon flavor through the whole dish. So add them in.......along with the butter....... and saute until soft.
Add the chopped garlic and let it cook just for a couple minutes to soften. Next, add the handful of chopped sage.
OK....by now your house is smelling amazing!! And you are almost there....
Wash your mushrooms well and chop. I like to chop these into bits and pieces. Easier to stuff and roll the turkey.
Just get them all into the pan and let it cook until softened. They will release lots of fluid which our bread will soak up next......yum!!!!
The last thing you want to add in is your chopped apples. Again I like to chop them smaller. They will just need a minute or two to soften and then we will get our bread right in. Remember, if you do not want the apples, just skip this part but they bring a great sweetness to the dish and really pair perfectly with that bacon.
Does this not look, smell and taste amazing!!!! Yes it does!!!
Ok...it's time for the best part. That amazing ciabatta bread!!! Cut in into cubes. You can throw them all on a baking tray and toast them in the oven slightly but I am not even going to do that, I am just going to throw them right in to soak up all that flavor. I like this stuffing very soft when rolled in the turkey breast. But if you are using it as a side....feel free to toast them!!
Believe me....if you make this stuffing for your Thanksgiving....you will be making it every year after!!! Again, a great stuffing to roll into a turkey breast or in a casserole dish on the side. You can also throw it into a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes to give the top a crunch. Next time you make it....stuff it into a pork chop, or just throw in onto of a great roasted chicken!!!