This is one of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes and it's from my all-time favorite cookbook, "The New York Cookbook," by Molly O'Neill, though I've made some modifications for my personal taste. It's the perfect stuffing if you use Olive Oil and Italian seasonings with your turkey, which I do.
One of my modification I make my own breadcrumbs by toasting and cubing some nice loaves of egg, or butter loaf-type bread. I also recommend that you only use Prosciutto di Parma because it makes the recipe taste really good. —Jenifer Mangione Vogt
Prosciutto & Fig Stuffing
Dried figs, tough stems removed
Italian red wine, sweet
Prosciutto di Parma
Stick of butter
Fresh minced Italian Parsley
Chopped celery stalks
Homemade breadcrumbs -- use egg or butter-type bread
Prepare the breadcrumbs. To do this, take fresh bread loaves and cube them. I leave the crusts, but you can remove them if you prefer. You’ll need 8 cups. Place the bread cubes on a cookie sheet. Let them bake for about 25 minutes. They’ll be lightly browned, so toss them around to get the ones underneath that haven’t browned yet. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. You want them golden and brown, like toast. Baking them on a lower heat for a longer time makes it less likely you’ll burn them accidentally and helps dry them out. The picture below shows what they’ll look like when done.
Cut the stems off of the dried figs. Here I’m using figlets, which are smaller. Then, in a non-reactive sauce pan simmer them in the wine for about 15 minutes to plump them. Let them cool, pat them dry and roughly chop them. Place them aside in a bowl with the minced Prosciutto di Parma.
Chop the onion, celery and parsley. I use the food processor. In a skillet over medium heat, melt the stick of butter. Add the parsley, celery, salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary and sage and cook for about ten minutes or until the onions are translucent.
Place the mixture in a large bowl. (I actually use the tin that I’m going to bake it in because its big and its easier to toss everything together in.) Add the cubed bread and the 1/3 cup of chicken broth. Add the fig and Prosciutto di Parma mixture. Toss and combine.
Now you can either stuff the turkey and bake as you usually do. Or, you can preheat the oven to 350° and bake the stuffing in a casserole dish until lightly browned, about 40 minutes. That’s what I did here and this is what it looked like when it was done.