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Fennel and Mushroom Dressing/Stuffing

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Level: Easy

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Description

This recipe can be used for dressing (baked in a dish) or stuffing (stuffed in a turkey). Fennel adds a sweet, mild anise flavor which is perfectly paired with savory mushrooms, which is also perfectly paired with turkey!

This recipe will serve 6 to 8 people.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups Multi Grain Bread, Cut Into 1-inch Cubes
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, Divided
  • 5 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Divided
  • ½ whole Medium Onion, Medium Dice
  • 1 whole Large Leek, Thinly Sliced
  • 2 whole Medium Carrots, Medium Dice
  • 1 whole Small Fennel Bulb, Medium Dice
  • 8 ounces, weight Mushrooms, Medium Dice
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, Finely Chopped
  • 1-½ teaspoon Fresh Thyme Leaves, Chopped (or 1 Teaspoon Dried)
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel Fronds, Finely Chopped
  • 1 cup Chicken Or Vegetable Stock, Low Or No Sodium, Up To Double The Amount As Needed
  • ¾ cups Parmesan Cheese (Optional)
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste

Preparation

1. To making dressing, preheat oven to 375ºF and grease an 8x11x2 inch baking dish with softened butter. If making stuffing, obviously skip this.
2. Add the bread to a large bowl. Set to the side.
3. Add 3 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet. Add the onion, leeks, carrot, and fennel to the pan. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper and sweat over medium heat until the onions are translucent and the carrots are soft. Add to the bowl with the bread cubes.
4. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally. After about 7 minutes, when the mushrooms are mostly browned, add the garlic as well as a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 1 minute. Add this to the bowl with the bread and veggies.
5. Stir the Italian parsley, thyme, and fennel fronds into the bread mixture. Add the stock ½ cup at a time. Fresher bread will require less liquid. (If you’re making dressing, then make the bread a little moister than you would like to eat it, because it will dry out slightly as it bakes. If making stuffing, the stuffing will absorb more moisture from the turkey.) Stir in the Parmesan cheese (optional) and season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. If you’re stuffing the turkey, loosely fill the cavity with the stuffing. For dressing, pour the bread mixture into the greased baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes with the foil and then remove the foil and bake for 20 minutes longer, until the top is brown.
7. Allow the dressing to set for just a few minutes.

Note: Dressing can be made in a couple of days in advance and kept in the refrigerator, just be sure to leave the glass or ceramic baking dish out at room temperature for about 20 minutes before putting it into the hot oven. Also, increase the amount of time the dressing bakes with the foil on to 30 minutes.

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