On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving at work, we had gotten bagels from a nearby bakery. Because of the holiday the bakery gave us a dozen free bagels with our order. Now that we had an over abundance of bagels and I had a dinner I was going to that was potluck……I came up with the idea for the BBC (Bagel, Bacon and Cherries) stuffing. I love NYC bagels with their chewy outside and dense insides mmmmmmm. I thought it would make an interesting texture and of course who doesn’t love bacon)
5 pc bagels, (savory flavors) cubed
1/2 bunch celery, minced
2 yellow onion, minced
1/2 lb bacon, chopped small
3 Tbl chopped fresh herbs (I used sage and thyme)
4 Tbl. butter
6 oz dried bing cherries
1/2 cup brandy
1-2 cups water or stock
salt and pepper to taste
The day before the stuffing will be cooked: cube bagels and allow them to sit out uncovered and combine cherries and brandy and allow to sit out in a covered container, so the cherries will absorb all the brandy goodness.
The following day check the bagel cubes and if they are still pliable place them in a 250 degree oven until more crispy. Pull out and allow to cool.
In a large pan over medium heat place bacon, onions and celery. Cook slowly so as to allow the fat to render. Cook stirring until onions and bacon begin to brown. Add butter and herbs and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Heat up stock/water while cooking vegetables. Once done cooking, remove pan from heat;add cherries and brandy; stir well.
Add bagels cubes and half the liquid mixture. Stir well until all moisture has been absorbed. Now this is where personal preference comes in. I like ot make my stuffing wet so that in the last 15 min of baking I can remove the lid and get a crispy top without making the stuffing to dry. some people prefer a drier stuffing then I do. Add liquid dependent upon your preferences. season with salt and pepper.
Bake in a buttered dish covered in a 350 degree F, pre- heated oven for 40 minutes. if you wish a crisp top remove lid and bake until brown.
Makes enough stuffing to fill a chicken and small casserole dish or to stuff and large turkey.