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MARIO BATALI Brioche Stuffing with Merguez, Dates and Pomegranate

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This Thanksgiving stuffing is stuffed with flavor!

ingredients
BRIOCHE STUFFING WITH MERGUEZ, DATES AND POMEGRANATE
1 loaf brioche (cut in 1-inch cubes, about 12 ounces)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound merguez sausage (removed from casing)
1 onion (peeled and diced)
3 stalks celery (1/4-inch slice)
1 cup dates (pitted and chopped)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon thyme
2 cups turkey or chicken stock
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
chives (chopped for garnish)
cilantro (chopped for garnish)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

directions
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease 9″x13″ baking dish. On a baking sheet, arrange cubes of bread and toast until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside in a large bowl.
In a large sauté pan, add the oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the merguez and cook until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside. Add the onion and celery and cook until caramelized and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the dates and cook an additional minute.
Remove to the large bowl with the bread cubes.
In a medium bowl, add the eggs. thyme and stock and whisk to combine. Pour over the bread mixture and toss to combine. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to the baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Garnish with pomegranate seeds, chives and cilantro.
Tip: substitute merguez with spicy Italian sausage!

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