Mushroom Cherry Hazelnut Stuffing
Whether served with a holiday fowl or as a simple family meal, nothing says home-cooking quite like piping hot stuffing. This Mushroom Cherry Hazelnut Stuffing recipe savory meets a hint of sweet, for a knock-out stuffing for any occasion.
I often mix fruit and nuts into a good bread stuffing. Cranberries, apricots, figs, apples, currants, raisins, pine nuts, almonds and walnuts are a few of my favourites. On this occasion I was looking for a hint of sweetness against a sexy Foie Gras Roasted Chicken so I chose dried cherries and hazelnuts along with oyster and crimini mushrooms and herbs, for a French bread stuffing that made for a memorable meal.
Mushroom Cherry Hazelnut Stuffing would work equally well with turkey, goose or duck. Either cooked separately, as shown here, or stuffed into the cavity and neck of the bird you’re cooking. However, if you’re cooking the stuffing separately you can skip the butter and substitute olive oil, use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and you’ve got a vegan alternative that the socially conscious consumers in your life will greatly appreciate.
Easy to make ahead and a great use for that day-old baguette sitting on your counter. It seems there’s always one on mine!
- 5 cups dried white or French bread, cut into rustic cubes
- 1 leek, cut lengthwise then cut in thin ½ rounds and well washed
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 2 cups mushrooms (oyster, crimini or white button)
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ½ cup hazelnuts
- ½ cup butter (or olive oil), divided
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped, fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ – 1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- Lightly oil a 9×13-inch baking dish, or coat with non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Cut baguette into chunky cubes and toast in the oven until dry, crisp and just beginning to brown. Remove from heat and cool until needed.
- In a large skillet melt about a tablespoon of butter and cook the mushrooms until golden brown, pour off into a waiting bowl and reserve. In the same skillet sweat the leeks & celery lightly with about a tablespoon of butter until transparent, about 5 minutes. Lightly roast hazelnuts in the oven for about 5 minutes and chop coarse.
- Toss dried bread cubes with herbs, and season to taste in a large bowl. Add cherries, hazelnuts and vegetables and drizzle with butter. Add chicken stock as you toss the stuffing mixture, until well moistened, but not mushy. Lightly pack stuffing into prepared baking dish (or bird cavity & neck), and cover tightly with foil or good fitting lid.
- Bake for 35 minutes at 350°F (175°C) . Remove foil, fork toss the top of stuffing and toast, uncovered, for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until browned on top to your liking.