Another great stuffing to add to the repertoire
2 cups pecans
2 cornbread (rounds, squarers or loaves, 8 inches each) coarsely broken into 2 inch pieces (16 cups)
3 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for the dish
8 slices smoked bacon, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
4 celery stalks, chopped nto 1/2 inch pieces
4 leeks (white and pale-green parts only), chopped into 1/2 inch pieces, rinsed well.
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups turkey or chicken stock (preferably homemade)
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 350 F
Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 7 minutes. let cool slightly; coarsely chop. Mix together pecans and cornbread in a large bowl.
Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Cook the bacon in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat until almost crisp, about 3 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium; add the celery and leeks. Cook until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Stir in thyme and 1 1/4 tsp salt; season with pepper.
Transfer to a large bowl.
Return the skillet to medium-high heat, and add the stock; bring to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
Add to the bowl with the bacon-vegetable mixture.
Stir in the eggs.
Gently mix in the cornbread mixture. (Do not overmix)
Transfer to a baking dish, dot the top with butter.
bake until golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes