Cornbread and Pumpkin Challah Stuffing with Dried Fruit

If you do not make the pumpkin challah, substitute a rich store-bought brioche or challah.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 7 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Inactive: 10 min
  • Cook: 6 hr 45 min
  • Yield: 10 to 12 servings
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1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted, plus more for casserole

Cornbread, day old, cut into 1-inch cubes, recipe follows

1 loaf Pumpkin Challah, day old, cut into 1-inch cubes, recipe follows

1/2 cup dried apricots, diced

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup dried figs, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram

1 teaspoon salt

Pinch freshly ground black pepper

2 cups Homemade Chicken Stock, or low-sodium canned chicken broth, skimmed of fat, (recipe follows)


1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup milk

2 large eggs

Pumpkin Challah:

1 cup warm water (100 degrees to 110 degrees)

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 1/2 packages)

3/4 cup egg yolks (11 to 12 large eggs), plus 1 large egg yolk for glaze

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for bowl

1/4 cup honey

2 cups homemade Pumpkin Puree, recipe follows or 1 (15-ounce) can

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

8 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Pumpkin Puree:

1 5-pound sugar pumpkin

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Homemade Chicken Stock:

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

6 sprigs fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried dill

6 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 dried bay leaves

2 leeks, washed, white and pale-green parts only, cut into 1/3

2 carrots, scrubbed, cut into 1/3

2 stalks celery, cut into 1/3

1 (4 pound) chicken, cut into 6 pieces

1 1/2 pounds chicken wings

1 1/2 pounds chicken backs

2 (48-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth, about 12 cups

6 cups cold water


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a large casserole dish, and set aside. Place cornbread and challah in a large bowl with apricots, cranberries, cherries, figs, sage, marjoram, salt, and pepper, and toss well. Pour chicken stock and melted butter over mixture, and stir to combine. Place mixture in prepared casserole. Bake uncovered until golden brown on top and heated through, 45 minutes. If stuffing becomes too brown while baking, tent with aluminum foil.


Yield: 1 (8-inch) square loaf
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F with rack in center. Butter an 8-inch-square baking pan, and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and eggs until frothy. Pour the milk-and-egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix until the ingredients are just incorporated. Do not overmix; the batter should be lumpy. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Cook until top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out dry, 20 to 25 minutes.

Pumpkin Challah:

Yield: 2 loaves
  1. Proof the yeast: Place 1/2 cup warm water in a small bowl, and sprinkle yeast over it. Stir to combine, and let sit until mixture becomes foamy, about 10 minutes. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine egg yolks with remaining 1/2 cup warm water. In a medium bowl, combine salt, canola oil, honey, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. Replace paddle attachment with dough-hook attachment, and add the pumpkin mixture to the mixer bowl; combine. Add the yeast mixture, stirring until combined. Slowly add flour, 1 cup at a time, until all the flour is incorporated into dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, punch down the dough, and then form it into 2 (8-inch) loaves. Place the loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. While the dough is rising, heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix remaining egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the loaves with the egg glaze, and bake until golden brown, about 50 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack, and serve.

Pumpkin Puree:

Yield: 5 1/4 cups
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut pumpkin into quarters, scrape out the seeds and discard. Rub flesh with vegetable oil, and place on a baking sheet, flesh side up. Bake until soft, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle remove peel, and put through a food mill fitted with a medium disk

Homemade Chicken Stock:

Yield: 5 quarts
  1. Place peppercorns, dill, parsley, bay leaves, leeks, carrots, celery, chicken, wings, and backs into a large stockpot. Add stock and 6 cups cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a very gentle simmer, and cook for 45 minutes. Liquid should just bubble up to the surface. A skin will form on the surface of the liquid; skim this off with a slotted spoon, and discard. Repeat as needed. After 45 minutes, remove chicken from the pot, and set aside until it is cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, set the meat aside, and return the bones to the pot. Shred the chicken, and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use. Continue to simmer the stock, on the lowest heat possible, for 3 hours, skimming as needed. The chicken bones will begin to disintegrate. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a very large bowl. Discard the solids. Place the bowl in an ice bath, and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to airtight containers. Stock may be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 4 months. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight. If storing, leave fat layer intact to seal the stock. Before using, remove the layer of fat that has collected on the surface.