Prep Time: 20 minutes (if you like a crisp stuffing, let the bread dry out for a day before preparing)
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour
1 loaf, approximately 1 lb., ciabatta or whole wheat (day old)
¾ stick butter
6 oz. pancetta, diced (substitute: bacon)
2 small onions (or 1 large), diced
2 pears (bosc or Bartlett), diced
3 celery ribs, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 thyme sprigs
1 cup, store bought chestnuts roasted, peeled, & quartered
½ cup dried cranberries
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
chopped parsley for garnish
1 cup of white wine
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Slice or tear ciabatta bread into 1-inch cubes. Set aside in large mixing bowl.
3. Dice pancetta. Melt butter in a pan over medium-high heat and cook the pancetta to a crisp. Set pancetta aside, leaving pancetta fat in pan. Over medium heat sauté garlic, onions, and celery, when your onions look translucent add pears and thyme sprigs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add white wine and let it reduce to cook out the wine flavor. Mix in chopped chestnuts, dried cranberries, and crispy pancetta bits. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once all of the ingredients have been well mixed together, remove from heat.
5. Add the pan mixture into the cubed ciabatta, add chicken stock and beaten eggs. Give it a good mix.
6. Transfer mixture to casserole pan, bake 30 minutes or until top of stuffing is toasted and golden. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve.