Corn Bread and Ham Stuffing with Caramelized Apples and Fennel
The saltiness of the ham plays off the sweetness of the apples, fennel and corn bread in this hearty stuffing. To streamline prep, the recipe relies on our stuffing mix, made from corn bread, wheat bread, and aromatic sage and thyme.
- Unsalted butter for baking dish, plus 2 Tbs.
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 oz. ham, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and diced
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 1 large leek, white and light green portions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 packet corn bread stuffing
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, white and green portions
- 4 to 4 1/2 cups chicken or turkey stock, warmed
Preheat an oven to 375°F. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the ham and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the ham to a very large bowl.
Add the fennel, apples and leek to the pan and cook, without stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the 2 Tbs. butter, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fennel mixture is golden, 4 to 6 minutes more. Transfer to the bowl with the ham. Add the stuffing and green onions and stir until well combined. Stir in the stock 1/2 cup at a time, making sure it is completely absorbed into the croutons and does not pool in the bottom of the bowl. The croutons should be moist throughout but not crunchy or mushy. You may not need all of the stock.
Transfer the stuffing mixture to the prepared baking dish. Cover the dish with a buttered sheet of foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is golden brown and crisp, about 25 minutes more. Let rest for 10 minutes, then serve. Serves 10 to 12.