Thanksgiving is next week. What?! Thanks to our kitchen renovation, we are not at all prepared for a food-centric holiday. The good news, though, is that our kitchen is nearing completion. About freaking time, right? The cabinets look so good, and I can’t wait to show all of you our new kitchen. Until then, here’s something that will come in handy next week – an awesome Thanksgiving recipe.
I’ve had my share of dressing/stuffing (side note: Do you know people that still call it stuffing even though it wasn’t stuffed into a turkey? That’s always been odd to me, but I find myself doing it sometimes, too. Dressing makes me think of salads. Can we give this a new name? Haha.) in my 28 years of life, and I can honestly say that most of them haven’t been that memorable. Eric and I made a pretty fantastic chorizo and brioche version for our first Thanksgiving in Virginia, but that’s the only one that really sticks out as a dish I’d eat again. I find most dressings to be, well, lacking – too mushy, too uniform in texture, you get the point. I’ve had typical bread cube dressings and cornbread dressings, but what I’ve never had before is a dressing made with biscuits. Oh yes, you heard that right. Biscuits AND bacon. You’re welcome.
Why it never occurred to me to make dressing with biscuits, I don’t know, but I do know this is the only way I’ll make it for the foreseeable future. Homemade biscuits are combined with a full pound of bacon, some aromatics, mushrooms, celery, onions and chicken broth to form what is easily going to be the Thanksgiving showstopper. What was once a boring, flavorless, afterthought is now going to be the center of my Thanksgiving table for many years to come. The biscuits have the perfect texture for dressing. They absorb just enough broth without becoming soggy. The big pieces of biscuits and the crispy bacon give this dressing layers of texture. This is just an all around fabulous recipe, and I’m thinking it might be making an appearance at Christmas, too.
Position rack in the lower third of oven and heat to 350º. Spread the biscuits on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly browned, 25-30 minutes. Set aside and increase heat to 375º.
In a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp, 7-9 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of fat from the pan.
Add the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, mushrooms, parsley, sage and thyme and continue cooking another 5 minutes, or until the celery is soft. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the bacon and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the biscuits, then carefully stir in half the broth. You don't want to break the biscuit pieces up too much. Stir in the remaining broth until it is all absorbed.
Transfer to a 3 quart baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake until lightly browned, 20-25 minutes more.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma