- One 2-pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- Vegetable oil, for rubbing
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound prepared corn bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped sage
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
Preheat the oven to 350°. Arrange the squash halves cut sides up on a large rimmed baking sheet and rub with oil. Season with salt and pepper and turn the squash cut sides down. Roast for about 1 hour, or until tender. Let cool slightly.
Increase the oven temperature to 375°. Spread the corn bread cubes on a large baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until toasted. Let cool completely. Leave the oven on.
Generously butter a 12-cup muffin tin. In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate. Heat 1/4 cup of the bacon fat in the skillet. Add the red onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the celery, garlic and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery is softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the bacon.
Peel the roasted squash. Transfer 3 cups of the squash to a food processor, add the sugar and puree until smooth. Season the mixture with salt, add the eggs and process until incorporated. Add the chicken stock and process again.
In a large bowl, combine the toasted corn bread with the squash puree and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir lightly, add the onion-bacon mixture and 1 teaspoon of salt and stir again. Mound the stuffing in the prepared muffin cups. Wrap any extra stuffing in a piece of heavy-duty foil.
Bake the muffins and any extra foil-wrapped stuffing in the upper third of the oven for about 40 minutes, until crisp on top and heated through. Unmold the stuffing muffins and serve hot.