RYE BREAD STUFFING WITH BACON, RAISINS AND SAUERKRAUT

RYE BREAD STUFFING WITH BACON, RAISINS AND SAUERKRAUT (enough to stuff an 18 to 20 pound turkey plus fill a 3 to 4 quart baking dish)

1 pound sliced bacon

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter plus 2 additional tablespoons if baking the stuffing separately

4 cups finely chopped onion

2 cups finely chopped celery

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups raisins

4 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar

4 teaspoons caraway seeds

½  cup cider vinegar

one 2 pound bag sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained

15 slices rye bread, cut into ½ inch cubes, toasted and cooled (about 15 cups)

1 cup chicken broth if baking the stuffing separately

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1.In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until it is crisp and transfer it to paper towels to drain.  Pour off all the fat from the skillet. 

2.  Add 1 stick of the butter and in it cook the onion, celery and garlic over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened.  Add the raisins and the sugar and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.  Stir in the caraway seeds, the vinegar and the sauerkraut and cook the mixture, stirring, for 3 minutes.

3.  Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, add the toasted bread cubes, the bacon, crumbled, and salt and pepper to taste and combine the mixture gently but thoroughly.  Let the stuffing cool completely before using it to stuff a 12 to 14 pound turkey.

4.  Alternatively, the stuffing may be baked separately.  Preheat the oven to 325*.  Butter a 3 to 4 quart casserole.  Spoon the stuffing into the prepared casserole, drizzle it with the broth and dot the top with the additional 2 tablespoons butter, cut into bits.  Bake the stuffing, covered, in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes and bake it, uncovered, for 30 minutes more.

adapted from Gourmet’s America

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