To make Philadelphia-based chef Eli Kulp's stuffing—which has all the flavors of your favorite loaded spud—potato bread is oven-dried and tossed with crisp bacon, charred leeks and fresh herbs, then hit with cream and hot chicken stock.
If you can't find a potato loaf, substitute white farmhouse bread (or even cornbread or walnut-raisin), and skip the processed, sliced sweet potato stuff or otherwise the stuffing will get soggy. The bread's sweet crumb perfectly balances the spicy jalapeño and smokey bacon.
Feeding a large crowd? This recipe doubles easily. Simply swap out the large skillet for a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven. Make the dried bread and charred vegetable mixture ahead of time, and right before serving, mix with the jalapeño, herbs, cream and hot stock.
To learn more, read "Stuffing Delicious."
Bacon and Jalapeño Stuffing
Recipe adapted from Eli Kulp, High Street on Market, Philadelphia, PA
Yield: 8 to 10 servings (11 cups)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
1 pound potato bread, torn into ¾-inch pieces (10 cups)
1 medium red onion, quartered
1 large leek, halved lengthwise, then widthwise
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces smoked bacon, medium dice
2 celery stalks, roughly diced (1½ cups)
1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
1½ cups low sodium chicken stock
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely diced (some seeds are OK)
½ cup packed fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Zest of ½ lemon
1. Preheat the oven to 300°. Line the torn bread in a single layer on a parchment-lined sheet tray and bake until completely dry, 20 to 25 minutes. Make ahead: Can be dried and stored, covered, up to 5 days in advance.
2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until smoking, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the red onion and leek, cut-side down, and immediately drizzle the olive oil over top. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, flipping occasionally, until all sides are charred, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and, when cool enough to handle, medium-dice the red onion and leeks.
3. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add the bacon, rendering until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the celery and sweat until tender, 6 to 8 minutes, then add the garlic and cook until aromatic, 2 minutes more. Lower the heat to medium and add the charred red onion and leek, sautéing until tender throughout, 3 to 5 minutes.
4. In a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil over medium-high heat, 5 minutes.
5. While the chicken stock is heating, add the dried bread, jalapeño, parsley and sage to the bacon-leek mixture, and mix with a pair of large tongs to combine. Season with salt and drizzle the cream over the mixture, continuing to mix until everything is incorporated. Slowly add the hot chicken stock while simultaneously mixing the stuffing. Add the cider vinegar and lemon zest, and season to taste with salt.