To me stuffing (or dressing) is the best part of Thanksgiving dinner. It’s rich, earthy, savory and insanely good. Comfort food at it’s finest! I make my stuffing with a variety of local mushrooms, lots of fresh herbs and brioche bread. This year it’s been pretty dry so we haven’t had many black trumpets yet. We do have some nice golden Chanterelles right now and also some great looking Porcini. Shiitakes work great as do Cremini. Really any mushrooms you can get your hands on, the more the better…You can make this stuffing the day before which will cut down on your stress day of. All you’ll need to do is pop it in the oven for forty minutes or so. Even though I call it stuffing, I’m not a fan of cooking it in the turkey. But if that’s your thing then do it. And no matter what anyone says, I actually think Stove Top is good. At least I thought so growing up.
Mushroom and Brioche Bread Stuffing
10 cups Brioche, cut into one inch cubes
1 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 pound chanterelles, medium dice
1 pound black trumpets, whole
4 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 cup water
2 cups onion, diced
1 ½ cups celery, diced
1 ½ cups leeks, white part only cut into half moons
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly drizzle the bread with olive oil and bake in the oven on two baking sheets until nicely browned. Set aside. Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and once it’s smoking hot, add the Cremini mushrooms cut sides down. Don’t stir them, just allow them to brown nicely as if you were searing a piece of meat. Once golden brown, flip them to the other side and brown again. Add the rest of the mushrooms, season with salt and cook until all of them are tender. Turn the flame to low, add the minced garlic and cook for about one minute, until the garlic no longer tastes raw. Combine the mushrooms with the bread in a large mixing bowl. Deglaze the sauté pan over high heat with one cup of water and reduce by half. Whisk in four tablespoons of butter away from the heat and pour over the bread mixture.
Reheat the large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add two tablespoons of butter and when the foam subsides, add the onions, leeks and celery. Season liberally with salt and cook until tender, a little color on the onions and leeks are ok. Add this to the bread mixture and combine. Deglaze the sauté pan again with one cup of stock. Add the stock to the stuffing mixture.
Combine the eggs and milk in a bowl and whisk well. Add this to the stuffing mixture along with all of your fresh herbs. If you like a mushy stuffing remove one third of the mixture now and mash it with a potato masher or with your hands. Return it to the bowl and season again to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Put the mix into a large baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for about forty-five minutes until warm throughout. Remove the foil and add the remaining four tablespoons of butter scattered evenly on the surface. Return to the oven for a few minutes more to brown the top if desired. Season to taste. Serves eight to ten.