Wild Mushroom Stuffing
2 1-pound loaves of country bread, crusts trimmed, bread cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 large shallots, minced
2 pounds mixed wild mushrooms (chanterelles, oysters, shitake etc), tough stems trimmed and finely chopped
3 cups turkey stock
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 tbsp thyme, chopped
2 tsp sage, chopped
Salt and fresh pepper to taste
Have ready a very large mixing bowl that you will be mixing the entire contents of this stuffing.
Preheat oven to 375. In a large rimmed baking dish (or two depending on the size), toss the bread cubes with oil, salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Transfer the bread cubes to the large mixing bowl. Reduce oven temp to 350.
Toast hazelnuts on a baking sheet for 12 minutes. Transfer hot nuts to a kitchen towel. When cooled, rub off their skins in the towel. Finely chop hazelnuts in a food processor and transfer them to the large mixing bowl.
In a heatproof bowl, soak the dried porcini in 1 cup of boiling water for 20 minutes. Rub the porcini to remove any dirt, then remove them from the water and coarsely chop them. Set aside. Pour their cooking liquid into a saucepan and boil over high heat about 5 minutes. The porcini liquid should be reduced to about 1/4 cup.
In a large skillet, melt 4 tbsp of butter. Add onions and celery and cook over medium-low heat for about 10-12 minutes or until softened. Transfer to the large mixing bowl.
In the same large skillet, melt the remaining butter over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook until softened about 4 minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms, dried porcini and the reduced porcini liquid. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat about 15 minutes, or until the liquid evaporates. Transfer to the large mixing bowl.
Add turkey stock, cranberries, parsley, thyme, sage, salt and pepper to the large mixing bowl. Toss well!
Butter a very large baking dish. Transfer stuffing from the large mixing bowl into baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 25-30 minutes.
Note: Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without this amazing stuffing (cooked outside the bird). You can make this the day before and refrigerate it overnight. Make sure to get it to room temperature before you put it in the oven.
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