Courtesy Yvan Lemoine, executive chef, Union Fare, New York City
Cooking dressing separately rather than making stuffing (cooked inside the meat or bird) saves time and ensures that the meat will be evenly cooked. This challah dressing derives sweetness from butternut squash and cherries, which is contrasted by the tangy goat cheese. It also complements the baking-spice flavors of the crown roast.
- 2 pounds butternut squash (will yield 1½ pounds cooked flesh)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup blanched sliced almonds, divided
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pound challah bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons dried cherries
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Wrap squash in aluminum foil. Bake 1 hour.
Mix garlic, parsley, ¼ cup almonds and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Mix together.
Let squash cool enough to handle. Cut in half, remove seeds and cut flesh away from peel. Dice cooked flesh into 1-inch cubes.
Combine bread, squash, chicken stock and garlic mixture in bowl. Mix with hands until stock is absorbed by bread evenly. Do not overmix; leave some big chunks of bread. Season with salt, pepper and a little olive oil.
Coat bottom and sides of casserole dish with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Press mix into dish, smoothing corners. Scatter crumbles of goat cheese on top. Sprinkle with cherries and remaining almonds.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden. Serve immediately. Serves 8.