Bacon & Jalapeno Stuffing
1 pound potato bread, torn into ¾-inch pieces (10 cups)
1 medium red onion, quartered
1 large leek, halved lengthwise, then widthwise
1 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz smoked bacon, medium dice
2 celery stalks, roughly diced (1½ cups)
1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
1½ cups low sodium chicken stock
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely diced (some seeds are OK)
½ cup packed fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
½ cup heavy cream
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Zest of ½ lemon
- Preheat the oven to 300°. Line the torn bread in a single layer on a parchment-lined sheet tray and bake until completely dry, 20 to 25 minutes. Make ahead: Can be dried and stored, covered, up to 5 days in advance.
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until smoking, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the red onion and leek, cut-side down, and immediately drizzle the olive oil over top. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, flipping occasionally, until all sides are charred, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and, when cool enough to handle, medium-dice the red onion and leeks.
- Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add the bacon, rendering until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the celery and sweat until tender, 6 to 8 minutes, then add the garlic and cook until aromatic, 2 minutes more. Lower the heat to medium and add the charred red onion and leek, sautéing until tender throughout, 3 to 5 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil over medium-high heat, 5 minutes.
- While the chicken stock is heating, add the dried bread, jalapeño, parsley and sage to the bacon-leek mixture, and mix with a pair of large tongs to combine. Season with salt and drizzle the cream over the mixture, continuing to mix until everything is incorporated. Slowly add the hot chicken stock while simultaneously mixing the stuffing. Add the cider vinegar and lemon zest, and season to taste with salt.