Fennel and Bacon Stuffing


10 slices applewood-smoked bacon, coarsely chopped 

1 large onion, chopped 

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 

8 ounces mild or spicy Italian sausages, casings removed 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 

2 fennel bulbs, medium diced 

1/4 cup dry white wine 

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, diced 

3/4 cup turkey broth or chicken broth 

1 1-pound French baguette, bottom crust trimmed, bread cut into 3/4-inch cubes 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs, beaten to blend


The stuffing can be assembled (unbaked) 6 hours ahead and refrigerated; add 10 minutes to the baking time.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

In a heavy large sauté pan, fry the bacon over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat remaining in the pan. 

Add the onions to the same pan and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the sausages, parsley, and thyme and cook until the sausage browns, about 4 minutes. 

Add the fennel and cook until tender and pale golden, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked bacon. Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Add the butter and cook until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and stir in the broth.

Place the bread cubes in a very large bowl. Add the sausage mixture and toss to coat. Season the stuffing to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in the eggs. 

Transfer the stuffing to a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover the stuffing and bake until golden brown on top, about 15 minutes.