In this recipe, you make homemade garlic herb croutons (nibble on them as you cook). Then you sauté chorizo until crisp, followed by sliced shiitakes, which take on a russet hue as they absorb the paprika-tinted fat from the sausage. Red onion and sweet potato are gently caramelized, and finally everything is tossed together with some stock and an egg and baked. At the last minute, you broil the stuffing so that the crust becomes crunchy and golden while everything beneath stays soft and tender.
Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 9 cups ciabatta bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 14 sage leaves, divided into 4 whole and 10 chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for sautéing
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup diced dried chorizo
  • 5 cups shiitake mushrooms (or your favorite mix), sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 3 cups diced sweet potato (about 1 large potato, peeled)
  • 2 to 21⁄2 cups chicken or turkey stock (or broth)
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 Tbsp. melted fat (butter, schmaltz, or turkey drippings)

Directions


Heat the oven to 375°F.

Toss the bread cubes with the 4 whole sage leaves, the rosemary, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and bake, stirring once, until golden and toasty, 10 to 15 minutes. Place the croutons in a large bowl or container. (They are great for a little snack as you continue with the recipe.)

In a large pan, sauté the chorizo in 1 or 2 teaspoons olive oil until golden. (The chorizo is already cooked, but I like to render the fat and get it a little crispy.) Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon to the bowl with the bread.

Next, sauté the mushrooms over medium-high heat in the chorizo fat, adding a little olive oil if necessary, and add salt and pepper to taste. Brown them lightly. Remove to the bowl with the bread.

Add some olive oil, as the mushrooms will most definitely have sucked up all the fat. Sauté the onion until soft and golden and add salt and pepper to taste. Add to the bowl with the bread.

Last, sauté the sweet potato, adding oil as necessary, and salt and pepper to taste. You don’t need to cook the potato through, as it will cook in the oven, but I like to get a little color on it.

Whisk 2 cups of the stock or broth with the egg and some salt and pepper. Pour into the bowl of stuffing ingredients, add the remaining sage and 2 tablespoons of the fat, and toss thoroughly until evenly moistened. You may need to add up to an additional 1 ⁄2 cup stock, but don’t overdo it. You have been seasoning all along, but you may want to taste for seasoning and adjust the salt and pepper.

Pour into a 9 × 13-inch baking dish or oval gratin pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. This allows the bread to really absorb the stock and makes for a moist interior and crunchy top.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, brush the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons fat, and bake for 15 more minutes. I like to broil the top for the last few minutes so it gets nice and crispy, but be sure to watch it carefully.

Adapted from The Food52 Cookbook: 140 Winning Recipes from Exceptional Home Cooks (HarperCollins) by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs.

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