Thanksgiving is upon us! And, like I’ve been saying, I’m sooooo excited! What’s your favorite classic Thanksgiving dish? I feel like this question really explains who a person is. Are you into the meat or more into all the fixings? Or are you that person that holds out for the round of pies? Um I don’t blame you! One of my favorite components of a Thanksgiving meal is the stuffing. As a child, I always loved the stuffing. Let’s be honest! How can you not love a big heap of warm bread, meat and veggies? I’ve honestly never met a stuffing that I didn’t like. I grew up on the classic stuffing recipe. You know the one… with liver in it. A giblet stuffing is no means to be reckoned with. It’s got some classic Thanksgiving game. It’s the OG of stuffings. But I will admit the first time I realized I’d been eating liver, my 8 year old heart withdrew in disgust. I quickly got over all of that.
As I went through this year’s round of Thanksgiving recipes that were put out by all the classic publications, I really started to get bored. Why did everything have to be so classic? Don’t get me wrong. I can appreciate the classic casseroles. But a small part of me is yearning for a Thanksgiving remix. At this point in Thanksgiving history there’s definitely some remix recipe out there. But I had to make my own for kicks. So why not start with my all-time favorite, stuffing.
It’s my first year that I’ll be staying in New York for Thanksgiving. I’ll miss coming home to Georgia, but I have to admit I’m excited for the full New York Thanksgiving experience. So in keeping with what is near and dear to me… or basically what happens to be in my kitchen, I created a fall stuffing that combines my love for fresh fall produce but also my love for all things NYC. Yes, people that means bagels!
Yes, I may have entered into the lazy, New York disease of delivery. And yes, I may have been forced to order a baker’s dozen of bagels from my corner shop because they wouldn’t deliver just one. Don’t judge me. We’ve all been there or at least wished we had. So I, of course, ordered the 14 bagels and said to myself, “You’ll definitely eat these.” Two days later I had eaten 2 and still have 12 to go. What’s a girl to do? Well considering I had the flu, a bagel social was out. But I stuck the bagels in my freezer for a day or so, until I had regained my health, and got to making stuffing magic.
Let’s get real again here. Who doesn’t love figs and bacon? I’m not really sure. And thankfully I’ve yet to meet this person. I happen to love the combo, and I couldn’t resist throwing a stuffing together to get me out of the flu blues using the scrumptuous duo.
This stuffing features a medley of fresh fall produce. You’ve got figs, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, onions, celery and sage that all work together in a beautiful mixture of bacon soaked bagels. If you’re thinking about making this recipe, I recommend you use whatever bagels are around your home first and foremost, but if you are going out to buy bagels specifically to create this dish. I recommend you use a combination of whole wheat, salt, and cinnamon raisin bagels. Yes, you heard me, cinnamon raisin! The bagel of white girls who brunch. Your first thought might be, “Wait hold up, Sam. Why would I do this to my stuffing?” Ya’ll if you haven’t discovered the combo of sweet and savory, than I have a lot of work to do. Let’s start here! The beauty of bacon, figs and sweet potatoes, specifically, is that cinnamon is always a killer spice to hit these three up with. Your cinnamon bagel will soak into those pieces like water soaks into flowers. It’s just that natural and beautiful. Your salt bagel and chicken stock will then balance out the sweeter bread. All in all you’ve got the recipe for pure Thanksgiving success.
SWEET & SAVORY BAGEL STUFFING
8 oz bacon, cut into small strips
3 large shallots, chopped
2 celery stocks, chopped
10 fresh figs, halved
1 sweet potato, cut into cubes
1 cup mushrooms
1 cup canned low-sodium chicken stalk
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 cups chopped bagels, about 4 bagels
*recommend cinnamon, wheat, and salt
4 sage leaves
salt & pepper