1-lb. loaf rustic country bread, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 thick-cut bacon slices, about 8 oz. total, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 leeks, white portion only, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and rinsed well
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup turkey or chicken stock, plus more as needed
1 cup milk
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 cup chopped green onions, green portion only
- Preheat an oven to 375ºF. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
- Spread the bread out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large fry pan over medium heat, fry the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crispy and golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
- In another large fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks, carrots and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, combine the bread, bacon, the leek mixture, the 1 cup stock, milk, thyme, green onions, salt and pepper and stir gently to mix. If the dressing seems dry, add more stock as needed.
- Transfer the dressing to the prepared baking dish and bake until crispy and golden, about 1 hour. If desired, you can pack the dressing loosely in the body and neck cavities of the turkey. Secure the neck flap with kitchen string or pin it to the back with toothpicks or trussing pins. Tying the legs together will help hold the stuffing in the body cavity. For turkeys weighing 16 lb. or less, add 30 minutes to the total roasting time. For turkeys weighing more than 16 lb., add 1 hour to the total roasting time.
Serves 10 to 12.