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I found this recipe in either the New York Times or the LA Times while I was waiting for my flight to Tokyo. I have never really liked the mushy stuffing that is baked inside the turkey and in recent years have started stuffing my turkey with oranges and onions. I prefer the crunchy stuffing edges when it is baked in a casserole dish. I think that these stuffing muffins are a fabulous idea because they would have crunchy tops and sides and it’s also a great way to control portion size. This recipe sounds really good with the pears, but I think it’s a great idea for any stuffing recipe including mine for which there is no recipe.

1 large loaf firm white bread
1 lb mushrooms
1/2 lb pancetta, diced small
10 T butter, plus a little extra for buttering the muffin pans
1 large onion chopped
1/4 cup minced green onion
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 1/3 cups turkey stock (I will use chicken broth)
3 1/2 cups diced fresh pears
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 cup minced chives
1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Tear bread in to bite size pieces and allow to dry for 24 hours.

Cook the pancetta until done and set aside. Melt the butter In a large pan and cook the onions, pears and the mushrooms until they just start to soften. Turn off heat and add the sugar, thyme, chives and parsley. Stir in the turkey stock and pancetta, pour over the bread and mix until well combined.

Butter two 12 cup muffin pans and pack each cup with stuffing. Bake 20-30 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

Makes 24 muffins