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Brown Bread Stuffing with Dried Cherries, Leeks, and Walnuts


Leek Sofrito

4 tablespoons butter

5 cups leeks (about 1 bunch) sliced in half moons

½ teaspoon salt

1½ tablespoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon lime zest

1 tablespoon lime juice


2 cups dried cherries

2 tablespoons brandy

1 teaspoon sugar


4 cups chicken stock, separated

2 cups walnut pieces

4 cups pumpernickel bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

6 cups honey whole wheat bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup butter

2 cups diced celery

1 cup Leek Sofrito

Black pepper

2 tablespoons thyme leaves

¼ cup chopped parsley

¼ cups chives

3 eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Make Leek Sofrito by melting butter over low heat in large sauté pan. Add leeks and salt and turn heat to low. Cook leeks slowly, stirring often, until soft, about 1 hour. Add garlic and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add lime zest and juice. Cool.
  2. Make stuffing by bringing cherries, brandy, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup chicken stock to simmer. Remove from heat and cover.
  3. Toast walnuts in 350 degree oven until golden, about 5 minutes.
  4. Toast bread cubes in 350 degree oven, about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until dry and lightly toasted.
  5. Raise oven temperature to 400 degrees and butter casserole dish.
  6. Sauté celery in butter until soft. Add Leek Sofrito, salt, pepper, and thyme and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  7. Add parsley, chives, and eggs.
  8. Add soaked cherries, along with liquid.
  9. Add toasted bread crumbs and combine.
  10. Mix in remaining chicken stock, 1 cup at a time, tossing between additions.
  11. Pour into prepared casserole dish, dot with cubes of butter, cover in foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, bake for 15 minutes more. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  12. Yield: 10-12 servings
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