It’s never too early to start talking about and planning for the big day. The big day being Thanksgiving, of course. It’s the most important day of the year, especially when it comes to eating all of the food known to man. It’s the one day out of the year I look forward to the most. Aside from Halloween and Christmas and Fourth of July. Okay, so maybe I look forward to more than just one day, but Thanksgiving is the most important. Mainly because I’m all about eating loads of food in one sitting without any regret or second guessing. Give me the turkey and all the sides because I will eat them all. The one piece of advice I can give to you is to have fun and DON’T BE STRESSED! Easier said than done, I know, but if you plan it all out and get a game plan in place, you’ll be good to go. The first order of business is the stuffing. What stuffing will you be making?! Trick question, because you’ll be making this stuffing.
I’ve teamed up with Jones Dairy Farm to bring you a new and exciting stuffing recipe that’s sure to take the spotlight from that turkey (don’t say I didn’t warn you). This stuff is made with day old croissants and is loaded with Jones hickory ham, leeks, dijon mustard and gruyere cheese. It’s so fancy and posh. Which I think basically means the same thing as fancy, but that’s okay because I feel like being both fancy and posh this Thanksgiving. Sue me. This stuffing is what you make—a.k.a. pull out of your sleeve like a magician—when you have important guests coming over and you need to impress them. So dust off that good china, iron that sophisticated table cloth and pop open that wine because the holiday season has officially begun and we all deserve to celebrate. Go ahead and knock your guests’ socks off. You’re about to be a stuffing champion. I’m so proud of you.
Let’s start by sautéing the onions and garlic until soft and translucent. Then add the ham and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cleaned leeks, thyme, salt and pepper. Shall we talk about the ham for a second? The ham is very important. I used Jones Dairy Farm Hickory Smoked Ham Steaks (click on the link to find out more)! It give so much flavor to the stuffing so I highly recommend it. Most of Jones Dairy Farm’s products can be found in fine retailers nationwide. They have a handy dandy product locater on their site for all of your convenience. Now back to our regularly scheduled program.
Meanwhile, tear the croissants into large pieces and place them evenly on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until slightly dried out and lightly golden brown.
**Tip: This is best with day old croissants. The best way to achieve this is to leave the croissants out on the counter, uncovered, overnight to dry out a bit.**
Once the croissant pieces have toasted, add them to the pot along with the dijon mustard and enough chicken stock to moisten everything.
**Note: The stuffing should be wet, but not too wet. You should definitely add the stock little by little until the desired consistency is reached. Remember that you can always add more if necessary but you can’t take some back.**
Sprinkle in the cheese and give it that final stir. I’m using gruyere cheese because of the French flavors going on here. The croissants, dijon mustard and leeks. Transfer the stuffing into a baking dish and sprinkle the top with a bit more cheese, because there is no such thing as too much cheese.
Bake until golden brown and toasty (I can say toasty right? Toasty is a thing), for about 15 to 20 minutes.
**Tip: You can make the stuffing a day in advance, and then just bake right before serving. It’ll give you a bit more time on Thanksgiving Day, since you won’t have to worry about making it along with everything else.**
While this is the perfect stuffing for Thanksgiving–especially if you want to switch things up and surprise your family and guests with something new and exciting–it’s also a great side dish for any night of the week. It doesn’t only have to be a holiday dish. Turn every day weeknights into fancy dinner nights. Everyone will thank you for it.
If you want to keep this vegetarian, you can easily omit the ham and trade out the chicken stock for vegetable stock instead. You can easily make two versions the night before, one vegetarian and one with ham, that way everyone can try the stuffing out.
To get the full recipe for this Croissant, Ham and Cheese Stuffing for your Thanksgiving feast, click on over to Jones Dairy Farm’s Stuffing and More site.The sooner you start planning out your Turkey Day menu the easier it’ll be for you on the actual day. Let’s keep that in mind. Also, let’s all have the best day ever.
I’ll let you all in on a little secret, I created 2 stuffing recipes for your enjoyment. The second one is a Roasted Cauliflower and Focaccia Stuffing with Jones Bacon. So, if you’re not feeling the first one with croissants and ham, then perhaps you’ll want to give this one a try.