Apple, Fennel & Walnut stuffing
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into small dice
2 bulbs fresh fennel, cleaned, cut into small dice
1/2 white onion, peeled and cut into small dice
1 loaf, day old challah bread, cut into 1.5-inch cubes
1 cup walnut halves or pieces, lightly toasted
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon organic fresh rosemary, minced
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon star anise, crushed (substitute fennel or caraway seeds if needed)
4 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of the butter, allowing it to melt. Then add the apples, fennel and onions, cooking for 5-7 minutes until translucent. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine bread cubes, walnuts and dried cranberries along with the cooled apple mixture. Then add the chicken stock, rosemary, garlic and anise seed. Mix with your hands and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs then add to the bread mixture, and thoroughly combine.
Using the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, grease a 9x11 casserole dish then add in the stuffing mixture. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the stuffing has browned on top, and the middle is completely set. Serve warm with your favorite holiday meal!