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Anadama Bread and Fig Stuffing with Celery and Cracklings

  • SERVINGS: MAKES 24 CUPS
  • MAKE-AHEAD

This hearty stuffing has a wonderful light molasses flavor with a little additional sweetness from the figs and the raisins in the bread. Make sure your dried figs are moist and plump. Ask the butcher for the old-fashioned kind of salt pork that is truly salt-cured, not brined.

If you need to take a shortcut, you can use 2 pounds of cubed semolina bread, 1 cup of golden raisins and 1/3 cup of unsulphured molasses in place of the anadama bread and it will still be delicious.

  1. 2 loaves Corn and Semolina Anadama Bread
  2. 3 pounds old-fashioned salt pork, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  3. 2 pounds onions, coarsely chopped
  4. 14 garlic cloves, chopped
  5. 1/4 cup chopped herbs—a mix of thyme, rosemary and sage leaves
  6. 1 1/2 pounds celery hearts, coarsely chopped
  7. 1/2 pound moist and plump dried black Mission figs
  8. 2 cups Muscat
  9. 2 tablespoons salt
  10. 1 tablespoon Bell's poultry seasoning
  11. 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  12. 2 cups Rich Turkey Stock
  13. 2 heaping cups chopped parsley
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread the bread on 2 baking sheets and toast in the oven for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dry. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Rinse the salt pork and remove the rinds. Cut the salt pork into 1/2-inch dice and transfer to a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Cook over low heat until the fat has been rendered and the cracklings are golden and crisp, about 25 minutes. Drain the cracklings and add them to the bread in the bowl.
  3. Pour off all but 2/3 cup of the fat from the casserole. Add the onions, garlic and herbs along with half of the celery hearts. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 15 minutes. Add to the bread in the bowl.
  4. In a medium saucepan, simmer the figs in the Muscat over low heat until softened, about 8 minutes. Pour the figs and Muscat over the bread and add the salt, poultry seasoning and pepper. Add the raw celery hearts, Rich Turkey Stock and parsley and toss lightly until thoroughly mixed. Taste for seasoning.
Make Ahead The bread cubes, cracklings, and vegetables can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated separately. Combine before proceeding.
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