Classic Slow Cooker Stuffing

SERVES 12  |  ACTIVE TIME 30 Min  |  TOTAL TIME 5 Hours

1 large loaf sour dough bread (about 1 pound 8 ounces), cubed (about 12 cups)*
20 ounces Applewood smoked bacon*
1 (16 ounce) natural pork sausage roll*
1 shallot, finely diced
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage, divided
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (1 sprig)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 1/2 - 4 cups chicken stock
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Place cubed sourdough on 2 baking sheets.  Once preheated bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring bread occasionally until toasted, but not browned.  Place toasted bread cubes into an extra large bowl.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil, lay bacon on sheet in one layer. It can be touching, but don't let it overlap.Bake 20-25 minutes until bacon is crisp. Dry on paper towel. Once cooled. Chop and pour on top of bread.

While bacon is cooking prepare ingredients.  Dice shallot and chop herbs.  Set aside. Butter slow cooker with 2 tablespoons butter.  Set aside.

Meanwhile; in a large skillet over medium heat, combine sausage and 1 1/2 tablespoons sage.  Cook sausage using a spatula to break it up as it cooks.  Cook through, but do not brown add shallots to pan.  Cook until shallots are translucent. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 1/2 cups chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Pour mixture over bread cubes.  Add herbs into bowl. Add beaten eggs.  Toss gently until combined with a wooden spoon. If stuffing is not moist add more broth 1/2 cup at a time until stuffing mixture is moist, but not soaked. Pour into crockpot. Press down on mixture gently and cover.

Cook on low for 4 hours. Add more chicken stock as necessary. Serve and enjoy!

COOK’S NOTES:  Fresh herbs give the dish incredible flavor, but if you must substitute cut recipe in half and use dried herbs.  Be sure to crunch them in your hand as you add them to help release the fragrance of the herbs.

To leave the stuffing warming for up to 2 hours, stir occasionally and add more chicken stock over stuffing to keep moist.

If you prefer celery in your stuffing add 1 cup chopped celery to the skillet with the shallots. Cook until shallots are translucent. Proceed with recipe.

*If you are in a time crunch, try substituting out store bought plain stuffing cubes, precooked sausage links (chopped) and bacon crumbles.

Recipe developed by Donna Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian
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