Leek and herb stuffing.

Leek and herb stuffing. Credit: Doug Young

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

12 cups cubed bread from white or whole-grain baguette or peasant loaf

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup (4 tablespoons) butter, divided

4 large (or 6 small) leeks

10 sage leaves

2 sprigs rosemary leaves, stripped

8 to 10 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

½ cup chopped parsley

2 cups turkey stock or chicken broth

HOW TO:

1. To dry out bread, either leave out on counter for 24 hours, or spread on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees until dried and beginning to color, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Trim most of the green tops from the leeks. Cut each lengthwise into quarters and then slice ¼-inch thick. Soak sliced leeks in cold water to remove dirt. Drain thoroughly.

3. Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet; add leeks, sage, rosemary and thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, so leeks soften but do not brown, about 15 minutes. Add parsley and stir to combine. Pour contents of skillet into bowl containing bread and stir. Add stock, stir and taste for salt and pepper.

4. Butter or spray a 13-by-9- inch baking pan. Spread stuffing evenly in pan and top with little pieces of remaining butter. Cover tightly with foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. (Or refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before baking, or increase baking time.) Remove foil and continue to bake until golden brown on top, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes and serve warm. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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