I have a confession. I have never hosted Thanksgiving dinner. The Thanksgiving after my mother passed away I was responsible for buying the turkey. I didn’t know that it needed to thaw ahead of time, so no turkey for us that year. Though I have never hosted Thanksgiving, I always bring something when I go to someone’s house. This year I know what I’m bringing; fig and pancetta stuffing. The salty, fatty pancetta and sweet dried figs go together perfectly with the rest of the ingredients in this tasty stuffing.
My Thoughts on Mad Hungry Family
I came upon this recipe in a copy of Mad Hungry Family (affiliate link) that I received through #WeekdaySupper and Workman Publishing. The author Lucinda Scala Quinn was a former executive food director at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and is the author of four cookbooks. I really enjoyed thumbing through this cookbook for the following reasons:
- Recipes look great and taste great. Lucinda has so many good recipes I want to try. This week I’ve already made her rag soup (which happens to be low carb) and the caramelized orange pork roast which my family loved!
- I didn’t know that cooking tip. She offers tips throughout the book about substitutions, shortcuts and helpful ways to cook family meals. For instance with the caramelized orange pork roast, I didn’t have any sriracha sauce. Luckily she listed substitutions for many of the ingredients in that dish. I used crushed pepper flakes by the way.
- I want to be Lucinda. I could also relate to her stories about her sons. Each of her 3 sons wrote a paragraph at the end of the book about their mom and her cooking. It actually made me cry. I hope my Max thinks of me like that when he gets older. Lucinda believes that the family meal and home cooking are great gifts you can share with your loved ones. I feel the same way.
- I can make that and it’s inexpensive. The recipes in Mad Hungry Family are Lucinda’s tried and true recipes for feeding a hungry family. They are also budget friendly and uncomplicated which is a plus for me.
- I need to host a holiday dinner soon. There is a holiday celebrations section in this book, with simple recipes that I know will be helpful to me or anyone that’s not very confident in cooking for the holidays.
Today I picked her fig and pancetta stuffing to share with you today. The flavor combination sounded so good to me and it seemed pretty straight forward. I also thought it would be something I would be proud to take to my sister’s for Thanksgiving this year.
Fig and Pancetta Stuffing
You start by sautéing the pancetta and onions for about 10 minutes. Next you add the figs, chicken broth, sage, orange juice and zest. You let that sit for a while so the figs get nice and plump. Then you just mix it with stale bread and a couple eggs and bake until done. The author also explains how to use this to stuff a bird instead of serving as a side dish. Luckily I’m not in charge of the turkey anymore so I’m just going with the side dish. 🙂
I was very impressed with this cookbook and I’m anxious to check out her other Mad Hungry cookbooks. To learn more about Lucinda and the Mad Hungry Family you can follow Lucinda Scala Quinn here: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook and check out Workman Publishing.
I hope you like this recipe as much as I did. Who knows maybe I’ll host Thanksgiving next year! There are more wonderful recipes from this cookbook below. And best of all we are raffling off 10 free copies so make sure to sign up below.
Fig and Pancetta Stuffing (or dressing)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- plus more for the baking dish
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 6 ounces pancetta chopped into ¼-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1½ cups chicken broth
- 8 ounces black Mission figs coarsely chopped
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
- 2 tablespoons orange liqueur such as
- triple sec or white wine (optional)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
- 12 slices whole wheat bread torn or cubed and dried (6 to 8 cups)
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten (use if cooking the stuffing outside the bird in a baking dish)
Melt the butter in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, pancetta, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta begins to render its fat, the onions become translucent with lightly caramelized edges, and a cheesy scent develops, 8 to 9 minutes. Add the broth and figs and bring to a boil, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes to plump the figs, stirring occasionally.
Add the orange zest and juice, liqueur (if using), and sage to the pan and stir to combine.Pour the contents of the saucepan over the bread pieces in a large bowl and stir until well combined. If using to stuff a bird, cool the stuffing and follow the cooking instructions for that recipe. If using as a dressing (or if you have extra after stuffing your bird), stir in the beaten eggs and transfer the mixture to a buttered 2½-quart baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is golden brown and crispy, to 15 minutes more.
Makes 1½ quarts
This post is sponsored by Workman Publishing Company in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own.