Thursday, December 29, 2022

Sweet Potato Cornbread with Hot Honey Lime butter

I’ve always looked forward to celebrating New Year’s Day with a giant feast of black eyed peas, greens, and cornbread. This holy trinity of southern food stems out of the African diaspora, like many southern favorites, and they are a symbol of luck, money, and prosperity in the forthcoming year.

I eat a lot of cornbread this time of year, not just on January 1, because it makes for the perfect comforting side to go with all the soups and chili I make in the cold months. I’ve been trying out new flavor combinations for a while, and I wanted to share a recipe for one of my favorites: sweet potato cornbread with hot honey lime butter. I love the flavor combination—it's a little sweet and spicy and sour. You may wany to make a double batch of the butter because if you're like me you'll slather it on every bite.

The black eyed peas recipe I make each year is inspired by a Greek stew. It isn’t the traditional southern way of eating the dish—there's no pork, and it's a little lighter. In my opinion, the biggest flavor boost comes from the fresh lemon juice and herbs stirred in at the end. I also love the salty-sour pop from the addition of feta cheese.

Sweet Potato Cornbread with Hot Honey Lime butter

Yield: Makes 16 servings

Time: 30 minutes prep, 35 minutes cook


For the cornbread

  • 1 cup (152 grams) cornmeal
  • 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup (240 grams) sweet potato puree*
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) brown butter, cooled to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (107 grams) brown sugar**

For the hot honey lime butter

  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) Challenge salted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons hot honey***
  • Zest from 1 lime


For the cornbread

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper and spray coat with nonstick spray.
  • Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  • In large bowl, stir together sweet potato puree, brown butter, eggs, sour cream, maple syrup, and brown sugar.
  • Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Pour batter into baking dish.
  • Place in oven and bake to 35 to 40 minutes, or until center of cornbread feels firm and slightly springy.

For the hot honey lime butter

  • Stir together butter, hot honey, and lime zest until smooth.


*Make sweet potato puree by roasting sweet potato at 450 for 90 minutes or peeling, chopping, and boiling potato until tender. Put cooked sweet potato in food processor until smooth.

**Melt butter in thick-bottomed skillet on medium heat. Continue to heat butter until foam on top subsides and brown specks form at bottom of skillet. Remove the skillet from the burner and pour the butter into a bowl to prevent it from continuing to cook. Allow the butter to cool to room temperature before incorporating it into the rest of the wet ingredients.

***I purchased hot honey, but if you can’t find any, you can make your own.

Black eyed peas and greens with dill

Yield: Six 1-cup servings

Time: 30 minutes prep, 45 minutes cook


  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard (or collard greens), stems removed and diced, leaves cut in ribbons
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup stock (or water)
  • 1 pound black eyed peas, cooked
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: Feta cheese


  1. Heat olive oil in Dutch oven. Add onion and Swiss chard stems and saute on medium heat until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and saute another minute.
  3. Add tomatoes (with juice), red wine vinegar, stock, and black eyed peas. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover Dutch oven.
  4. Continue to simmer until black eyed peas are soft but not mushy, about 45 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and dill. 
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with feta cheese if desired.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Cranberry almond wreath


This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

I’ve shared a Christmas morning breakfast idea every year for the past 7 years. For me, the biggest factors in choosing what to make for breakfast is whether the dish is festive and whether I can prep it ahead of time. This recipe fits the bill.

The recipe looks long, but that's only because there are several components. There's nothing complicated about the steps or the ingredients.

Obviously, cranberries are very festive, but another flavor that really shines this time of year is almond. I love almond everything, and the filling with marzipan is probably the most crucial for achieving the maximum flavor. If you've ever worked with marzipan, you know that it's crumbly and doesn't spread well. That's why I combined it with Challenge Vanilla Fudge Butter Snack Spread. It makes the filling smoother while also adding flavor. If you can't find the snack spread in a store near you, replace it with Challenge unsalted butter and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (that's in addition to the almond extract).

If by chance your wreath doesn't turn out picture perfect—it's okay! The icing will cover up any imperfections. I like the consistency of my icing to be a little bit on the thin side so the layers of puff pastry and cranberry swirls are still visible.

Cranberry almond wreath

Yield: 6 servings

Time: 20 minutes prep, 1 hour cook


For the cranberry filling

  • 5 ounces whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

For the almond filling

For the wreath

  • 1 all-butter puff pastry sheet

For the icing

  • 120 grams (1 cup) confectioners' sugar
  • Juice from 1 orange
  • Zest from 1 orange

Optional decorations

  • Sliced almonds
  • Pomegranate arils


For the cranberry filling

  1. Mix cranberry sauce and ginger. Set aside.

For the almond filling

  1. Combine marzipan and Challenge Vanilla Fudge Butter Snack Spread in one bowl and microwave for 20 - 30 seconds or until softened.
  2. Add almond extract to bowl and stir until combined.

For the wreath

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spread cranberry filling evenly across puff pastry sheet.
  3. Crumble almond filling over top of cranberry filling.
  4. Starting on long side, roll dough into the tube.
  5. Use pizza cutter to cut rolled up dough in half lengthways.
  6. Cross two strips of dough in center. Lift one piece over and under other piece. Continue until strips are intertwined.
  7. Bring both ends of dough together to form wreath.
  8. Transfer dough to parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes uncovered. Remove aluminum foil and bake another 15 to 20 minutes or until pastry turns golden brown.
  9. Set aside to cool.
For the icing
  1. Use fork or whisk to combine powdered sugar with 1 Tablespoon of orange juice. Add more orange juice 1 teaspoonful at a time until icing is desired consistency.
  2. Stir in orange zest.
  3. Drizzle icing over cooled wreath.
  4. Sprinkle sliced almonds and pomegranate arils on icing before it hardens.
  5. Cut and serve
Notes: If planning to make this wreath ahead of time, prepare everything up to the point of baking. Cover and refrigerate it. When ready to bake, allow wreath to come to room temperature first. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Dark chocolate port figgy pudding

This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

We’ve all heard the verse from “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” in which carolers demand figgy pudding. So I was curious about its origins. In America when we hear the word “pudding” we think of a custard. But in Britain, pudding is used as another word for dessert, and some very posh people even shorten it to “pud.”

The terms “figgy pudding,” “plum pudding,” and “Christmas pudding” are all interchangeable, and they describe a boozy spice cake  packed with dried fruits.

Traditionally, families make it together on “Stir it Up Sunday,” which is the Sunday before Advent. Because of the cake’s high alcohol and sugar content, it will stay good for well over a year. In fact, it apparently gets better with time.

Both the cooking method and some of the ingredients are very outdated, so my goal was to create a more modern version of the desert that people would actually want to recreate. The first thing I adjusted was the fat in the recipe. The traditional fat of choice is “suet.” Good luck finding that! I used Challenge unsalted butter because it's 100% real cream butter, and it doesn't have any artificial or synthetic ingredients. 

Also, instead of steaming in a pudding pan, I opted to bake it for just 45 minutes in a bundt pan.

Once removed from the oven, wait 10 minutes before inverting the cake onto a platter. It should pop right out of the pan.  If you like your pudding extra boozy, poke holes all over the cake while it’s still hot and baste it in booze.

I like to serve the figgy pudding with a caramel sauce because I think it makes the dessert extra special, but you could also try a chocolate sauce, a red wine reduction sauce, or just eat it plain.

Dark chocolate port figgy pudding

Yield: 12 servings


For the figgy pudding

  • 80 grams (1/2 cup) dates, chopped
  • 80 grams (1/2 cup) prunes, chopped
  • 80 grams (1/2 cup) dried figs, chopped
  • 80 grams (1/2 cup) raisins
  • 1 cup ruby port wine
  • 100 grams dark chocolate
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200 grams (1 cup) dark brown sugar
  • 113 grams (1 stick) unsalted Challenge butter, melted and cooled
  • 240 milliliters (1 cup) whole milk
  • 300 grams (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves

For the caramel sauce

  • 113 grams (1 stick) unsalted Challenge butter
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) dark brown sugar
  • 60 milliliters (1/4 cup) molasses
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


For the figgy pudding

  1. Combine dried fruit and wine in saucepan and bring to boil. Once it boils, remove from heat, stir in chocolate, and cover with lid. Allow dried fruit to macerate in wine for 1 hour or up to 3 days in advance.
  2. Once dried fruit has macerated, mash with a fork until consistency is semi-smooth. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease bundt pan. Set aside.
  4. In large bowl, whisk eggs. Mix in brown sugar and butter. Mix in milk and mashed dried fruit/wine mixture.
  5. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  6. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
  7. Dump batter into greased bundt pan. Place bundt pan on baking sheet and into oven. Bake for 45 minutes or until figgy pudding becomes firm to touch and starts to pull away from sides.
  8. Run sharp knife around edges of pan and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  9. Invert cake onto serving plate and it should pop right out.

For the caramel sauce

  1. In large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, brown sugar and molasses.
  2. Once butter and brown sugar have melted, slowly stir in cream.
  3. Bring to boil and allow to boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.
  5. Spoon over slices of figgy pudding before serving.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Poached pear chocolate tart

This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

A poached pear tart may seem like something out of your realm of baking abilities, but once I break down the steps I promise it will seem manageable. It’s a really elegant dessert to serve, and the colors make it great for the holiday season.

First, let's discuss the tart shell. It is similar to the American short dough, and I think it tastes like a shortbread cookie when it is baked. The shell dough is the first thing you should make because you need to allow the dough to chill for a minimum of 2 hours before working with it. This allows the gluten in the dough to relax so it's less likely to break when you're rolling it out and shrink when you're baking it.

Pâte sucrée is traditionally made using the creaming method. Usually with the creaming method, you want the butter to look “light and fluffy” before proceeding. However, that isn’t what we want here. That’s because when you beat the butter and sugar together, you incorporating air, and we don't want that. So just beat the butter and sugar until well combined, but not any longer. I like to use Challenge European Style Butter. It has a higher butterfat than regular butters (83% versus 80% for standard butters), and the lower moisture content yields a flakier crust.

If you're not in the mood to make tart dough, just use a good quality store-bought pie dough. I've used the Trader Joe's brand pie dough several times, and it works just fine.

The next step is to poach the pears in wine. Poached pears mean we simmer the pears until they're tender and flavored with the poaching liquid. In this case, the poach liquid is red wine and white wine, both with warm winter spices like a cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, sugar and orange peel. You want to use Bosc pears because they retain their shape well while baking.

You can do this step several days in advance. Just store the pears in the poaching liquid in the refrigerator until you're ready to use them.

I poached half the pears in white wine and half the pears in red wine because I wanted it to look a certain way for the holidays, but you could go with all red wine or all white wine.

Don't get rid of the poaching liquid once you're done. Cook the wine over the stove until it reduces by at least half and becomes syrupy. You can use the syrup over desserts or in cocktails.

When deciding on what wine to use, you certainly don't have to break the bank with your purchase. But you want a wine that is decent enough to sip by itself.

Then it's time to make the frangipane. Frangipane is an almond custard that will become puffy when it bakes and envelop the fruit. I made a chocolate frangipane because I thought it would be really decadent with the wine-poached fruit. You can either start with whole almonds, almond meal, or almond flour. Whole almonds become almond meal when you blend them in a food processor. Almond flour is almost always interchangeable with almond meal. Almond flour is just blanched, peeled almonds ground into a fine powder. If you don't use whole almonds, frangipane is as easy as stirring a few ingredients together.

When it comes to assembly, you'll want to parbake the tart dough without the filling first. This ensures the crust cooks all the way through, and it prevents a soggy bottom. You want to parbake the dough to the point at which it starts to brown very slightly and no longer looks like raw dough.

You can choose whatever design you want for the pears. I like the circular pattern because it looks pretty even with pear slices of different sizes, and it's pretty much foolproof.

For an added festive touch and some texture, I think it looks so pretty with crushed pistachios on top.

Poached pear chocolate tart

Yield: One 9-inch tart


For sweet tart dough

  • 200 grams all-purpose flour
  • 80 grams powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3.5 ounces (7 Tablespoons) Challenge European unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 30 grams almond meal

For the poached pears

  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle red wine
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle white wine
  • 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 4 strips orange peel
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons cloves
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 6 bosc pears, peeled, cored, and cut into eighths

For the chocolate frangipane

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 120 grams (1 1/4 cup) almond meal
  • 120 grams (1/2 cup) Nutella or similar chocolate spread
  • 50 grams (1/2 stick) Challenge unsalted butter, melted


For the sweet tart dough

  1. Sift flour, powered sugar, salt and baking powder, and add to mixing bowl with paddle attachment.  
  2. Add butter and mix on medium speed until mealy.  
  3. Add egg and once dough begins to come together, add almond meal and mix until dough comes together.  
  4. Cover dough and chill in refrigerator for minimum of 2 hours and up to 2 days.

For the poached pears

  1. Pour red wine into one medium saucepan and white wine into another medium saucepan.
  2. Add 100 grams granulated sugar, 2 strips orange peel, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon cloves, and 1 star anise pod to the saucepan with the red wine. Add remaining orange peel, cinnamon stick, cloves and star anise pod to the saucepan with the white wine.
  3. Bring both saucepans to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  4. Add half the pear slices to the red wine and half the pear slices to the white wine.
  5. Simmer pear slices. Turn off heat and allow pears to soak in poaching liquid until cool.

For the chocolate frangipane

  1. Beat eggs and egg yolk. 
  2. Mix in almond meal, chocolate spread, and butter. Set aside.

For assembly

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Roll dough to 1/8-inch thick and place in tart pan. Press down into corners.
  3. Line dough with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and remove pie weights. 
  5. Prick bottom and sides of pie dough with fork. 
  6. Bake another 10 minutes and remove from oven. Let tart shell cool.
  7. Spread frangipane evenly in tart.
  8. Arrange pears onto filling in circular pattern.
  9. Bake 45 minutes or until frangipane puffs up and envelops pears. Monitor tart—if edges brown too much, cover with aluminum foil.
  10. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
  11. Carefully remove tart from pan. Serve with crushed pistachios and creme fraiche if desired.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Peppermint mocha meltables

There are so many people in our lives that we want to give gifts to this time of year—teachers, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. But buying gifts is expensive, and cookies eventually get stale. That's why peppermint mocha "meltables," as I like to call them, are the perfect solution. 

It's a similar concept to the popular hot cocoa bombs, but they're a lot easier to make. And they contain caffeine—something most all of us could use more of this holiday season.

I have a few helpful notes to share before we dive into the recipe.
  • Use chocolate you want to eat. I don't recommend using candy melts or baking bars because they don't taste as good. It doesn't have to be top-of-the-line chocolate, but it should be pretty good quality. I used Trader Joe's dark chocolate for my meltables.
  • Technically you should temper the chocolate (read more about why and how to do that here), but in my experience, it turns out just fine if you don't.
  • Heat the chocolate in 30-second increments, stirring each time, because if you try to melt it all at once at one time you risk burning it. 
  • Use instant dark roast coffee. It must be instant for obvious reasons. And dark roast is better because the chocolate is very sweet and the bitterness of a dark roast balances it out. 
  • I recommend using a scale to weigh the amount of chocolate going into each mold so it’s evenly proportioned. 

Peppermint mocha meltables

Yield: 4 servings

Specialty equipment needed

  • Snowflake mold (or other festive mold)


  • 12 ounces dark chocolate
  • 4 Tablespoons instant dark roast coffee
  • 1 Tablespoon powdered creamer
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Directions for meltables

  1. Add chocolate to microwave-safe bowl. Heat chocolate in 20-second increments, stirring after every increment, until melted.
  2. Stir in instant coffee, powdered creamer, and peppermint extract.
  3. Divide mixture between four molds.
  4. Place mold on baking sheet and tap baking sheet on counter several times to remove air bubbles.
  5. Place baking sheet with molds in refrigerator and allow to set up for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Remove meltables from molds and package as desired.

Directions for making drinks

  1. Add peppermint mocha meltable to mug
  2. Pour 12 ounces of very hot milk over meltable
  3. Stir to combine

Recipe inspired by One Sweet Mama

Thanksgiving 2022 recap


If there's one thing I excel at most in life, it's putting an exorbitant amount of unnecessary pressure on myself. I desperately wanted to host Thanksgiving this year. I also wanted to test several new recipes for the big meal—never mind the fact that I have a baby and other work obligations. Did I commit to doing too much? Yes. Would I do it again? Yes. 

Experimenting in the kitchen brings me a great deal of joy, but caring for my daughter is my number one priority. It makes me happier and I feel more fulfilled than I ever imagined.

I feel stretched thin lately as I try to simultaneously create and take care of Penelope. As a recipe developer, it takes a lot of time to write a hypothesis for a recipe, test it several times, photograph it, write a blog post, and share it online.

Everyone else on social media appears to be cranking out new recipes and videos multiple times a week, and I’m guilty of comparing myself to them. I can't keep up. I'm not sure how they find time to do it all. 

All that to say, there were a lot of recipes I wanted to share ahead of Thanksgiving, but I ran out of time. I did, however, make a lot of special memories with my daughter, and we all shared a delicious meal.

I think a big part of being a new mom is learning your limits and how to split your time so you're the best version of yourself in all parts of your life. I'm sure that's something I will continue to work on throughout the rest of my life.

That said, I wanted to briefly share and review all the dishes I made for Thanksgiving in case you're looking for some inspiration as many of us gather for big dinners this holiday season.

Buttermilk-brined roast turkey

I made two turkeys for Thanksgiving. This version was hands-down the winner. It was so moist and flavorful. I spatchcocked the turkey, which involves cutting out the backbone with kitchen shears. It wasn't difficult, but it took a great deal of strength. I practiced with whole chickens ahead of time, and those were much easier to spatchcock. But the rest of the recipe is so simple, and it cooks so quickly than a whole turkey. Also,  the skin was evenly browned, and the pan drippings made delicious gravy. I'm making a turkey for Christmas as well, and this is how I will cook it.

Spiced and glazed dry-brined turkey

I experimented with a dry brine for the other turkey. In terms of effort, I preferred the dry brine, but I'm not sure if it worked as well as a wet brine. The turkey wasn't as flavorful and moist as the wet-brined and butter-basted turkey I made last year for Thanksgiving. But I'm not sure if that's because of the dry brine or the glaze. I definitely don't recommend the glaze. I read turkey skin browns better when it's glazed as opposed to when it's basted, but I saw little difference. 

Macaroni and cheese

This was the macaroni and cheese recipe I made, but I switched up the cheeses a bit. I still used 28 ounces of cheese, but I used a combination of extra sharp cheddar, unexpected cheddar from Trader Joe's, smoked gouda (I love the smokiness this adds), and Velveeta. Velveeta is necessary because it contains sodium citrate, which prevents the sauce from separating. I also used 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne. I served it with Fried Shallot Crunch for a little texture. I will definitely make this again.

Jiffy Mix Cornbread Pudding

This has been a Thanksgiving staple in our family for years.

Everything Parker House rolls

I usually don't make rolls for Thanksgiving, but like I said earlier, I do too much. These were delicious and it's a great recipe, BUT I wish I would have just made plain rolls without the "everything but the bagel" topping.

Pumpkin maple cornbread

Everyone preferred the cornbread to the Parker House rolls, and it was 20 times easier to make. This is my new favorite cornbread recipe. It has just a little sweetness and a little maple flavor. It's really moist and dense, but not too dense. Also, it freezes well.

Golden sweet potato cheesecake

No one appreciated the cheesecake as much as I hoped. Maybe I served it to the wrong crowd. Oh well. I loved it, and there was more for me.

Agrodolce Brussels Sprouts

I made this cauliflower recipe but with brussels sprouts.


I tested new dressing recipes for a month leading up to Thanksgiving because (after the turkey) it is the most important dish. This is the only dressing recipe I will make from now on. It is truly stellar. The prunes and wine perfectly balance everything, and the herbs make it so incredibly flavorful. I really hope you make it.

Kylee's Sausage and Prune Thanksgiving Dressing

Yield: One 9x13-inch casserole dish


  • 2 pounds sourdough bread, crust removed and torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 24 - 28 ounces homemade turkey stock 
  • 10 ounces dry white wine
  • 7 ounces dried prunes, small dice
  • 20 ounces mushrooms
  • 2 pounds sage sausage
  • 8 ounces white onion, small dice
  • 4 ounces carrot, small dice
  • 4 ounces celery, small dice
  • 1/2 ounce fresh sage leaves, chiffonade
  • 1/4 ounce thyme leaves
  • 15 ounces chestnuts, peeled and cooked 
  • 2 ounces fresh parsley leaves (from 1 medium bunch), chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fennel seeds, toasted
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter 9x13-inch baking dish and set aside.
  2. Divide bread pieces in single layer between two baking sheets. Place in oven and bake until dried but not brown, about 1 hour.
  3. Remove bread from oven and cool. Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Combine wine and prunes in small saucepan, place on stove, and bring to boil. Remove from heat and cool.
  5. Heat mushrooms in large skillet over medium heat. Mushrooms will release water. Continue to heat until water evaporates. Remove mushrooms from skillet and chop. Set aside.
  6. Brown sausage, cooking until just cooked through and no longer pink. Transfer to very large paper towel-lined bowl using slotted spoon.
  7. Cook onion and carrots in sausage fat over medium heat until starting to brown. Add celery and cook until tender. 
  8. Add sage and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  9. Remove paper towel from sausage bowl. Add mushrooms, onion, carrots, celery, sage and thyme to bowl. Stir in chestnuts, parsley, and fennel seeds. 
  10. Stir in bread cubes and prunes with poaching liquid.
  11. Gradually add stock. Add just a little bit at a time, stirring between each addition and waiting until bread soaks up stock before adding more. Stop adding stock once mixture is very moist and there are no more dry bread pieces.
  12. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  13. Add mixture to baking dish and dot the top with butter. Bake until browned, about 45 minutes.

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