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Dried Cranberry, Apricot and Fig Stuffing

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Chef: Quinn Emmett

Serves: 8

Preheat: 350

This stuffing is awesome. I've been on quite a fig tear, so these add a pretty tasty note to the traditional veggie/fall fruits. Made at 2009 Emmett Turkey Day (I doubled for crowd - highly recommended - original size here). If you've ever wanted your kitchen to smell amazing, make this.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 cup chopped onions (about 1 pound)
2 cup chopped celery (4-5 stalks)
1 lb(s) Granny Smith apples (2 medium sized), peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
2 tbsp chopped fresh marjoram
1 cup (or more) low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 cup diced, stemmed dried figs
12 cup (generous) 1-inch cubes day-old ciabatta bread with crust (or something similar), about 1 1/4 lbs
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat.
Add onions and celery.
Saute until tender, about 12 minutes.
Add apples and all herbs.
Saute until apples just begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
Transfer to medium bowl, cover and chill.
APPLE MIXTURE CAN BE MADE 1 DAY AHEAD.
Mix 1 cup broth and dried fruit in bowl.
Let soak at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 350.
Divide bread between 2 rimmed baking sheets.
Bake until bread is crusty but not hard (no one likes to be stuffed hard).
Reverse sheet after 5 minutes, 10-12 mins total.
Transfer to VERY large bowl and cool.
Butter 13x9x2 inch baking dish.
Stir veggie mixture into bread.
Whisk eggs, salt and pepper in small bowl to blend.
Whisk in broth and dried fruit mixture.
Add egg mixture to stuffing, tossing to combine evenly and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if dry.
Transfer stuffing to prepared dish.
Bake stuffing uncovered until cooked through and brown and crusty on top, 50 to 60 minutes.
Let stand 10 minutes.
Eat!