Serves: 8 - Time:
Sometimes the best dishes come about by happy coincidence-culinary serendipity if you like. I had made a loaf of my Cheese and Chilli Cornbread and had half of it knocking around. At the same time, I was roasting a chicken and thinking about making a stuffing. You don’t need to be a top sleuth to see where this is leading. May I present this rather delicious cornbread, leek and bacon stuffing which would make a perfect accompaniment to the Christmas turkey. It can all be made in advance and kept in the fridge for a couple of days. I always pack stuffing into foil containers as the last thing I want to do is more washing up whether it’s a simple Sunday lunch or the blowout festive feast. You can find the cornbread recipe if you type it into the search box.
- 440g Cheese and chilli cornbread, cut into 1cm cubes
- 40g butter
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
- 3 leeks, washed, trimmed and finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 240g smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
- 80g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
- 200ml cold chicken stock (cube is fine)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Heat the oven to 150˚c, fan oven 130˚c, mark ½. Scatter the cornbread cubes onto a baking tray and dry out in the oven for about 40 minutes, giving them a turn halfway through cooking. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and leave to cool.
- Heat the butter and oil in a large sauté pan and cook the celery over a low heat for 5 minutes. Add the leeks and garlic and continue to cook, stirring often, for 12-15 minutes until the vegetables are soft but not coloured. Add to the mixing bowl with the cornbread.
- Wipe the pan out and add the bacon-you shouldn’t need any oil in the pan as the bacon fat will render down as it cooks. Stir over a moderate heat for 10 minutes. Add to the rest of the ingredients in the mixing bowl and leave to cool completely.
- Turn the oven up to 200˚c, fan oven 180˚c, mark 6. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Spoon into a foil container and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until light golden. If you want to cook the stuffing later, cover with cling film or foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days.