4 slices thick bacon, cut into lardons (lardons are small slices)
2 T salted butter
1 large shallot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup dried cranberries
3 T fresh herbs, minced (Rosemary, sage, thyme)
4 cups dried bread cubes or prepackaged stuffing of your choice
1.5 to 2 cups turkey stock or broth (Can substitute chicken stock or broth)
Salt and pepper to taste (the bacon and butter already have salt, so don’t overdo it.)
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. cayenne, to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small, oven proof casserole dish.
Cook bacon in a skillet over medium high heat, until just crispy and the fat is rendered. Add butter to pan and stir with bacon to melt.
Add shallot, celery, and apple to pan. Saute until vegetables and apple are soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic to pan, cook for one more minute, until fragrant.
Add cranberries, herbs, and cayenne to pan, cook for another couple of minutes, until cranberries begin to soften slightly. Remove pan from heat.
Place dried bread cubes into a medium sized bowl. Stir in bacon, vegetable, herb mixture into the bread cubes. Pour turkey stock over bread cube mixture and stir until liquid is absorbed. (Start with one and half cups, then see if you need more, adding a tablespoon at a time if needed.
Put dressing into prepared casserole, cover with foil and place in oven on the center rack. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, turn on the broiler, and broil for 2-4 minutes, to brown the top.