Boozy Fruit Stuffing [Countdown to Thanksgiving]

As I confessed at the outset of my Countdown to Thanksgiving, stuffing (or dressing, no difference to me whether it’s cooked inside or outside the bird) is my favorite Thanksgiving dish. I’ve had just about every type of the traditional bread variety – sourdough, cornbread, bagel, from-a-box. I’ve yet to find my favorite recipe among these, and am hoping that this year’s mushroom-and-challah concoction will be the winner. We shall see. But even when I do finally find the Holy Grail of traditional stuffing recipes, I will always have at least two stuffings on the table at Thanksgiving. This boozy fruit stuffing is the perfect compliment to its traditional bread-and-sage counterpart, and is somewhere in between a cranberry sauce and a chutney (minus the cranberries).

Boozy Fruit Stuffing for Thanksgiving |

I was first introduced to this dish many Thanksgivings ago at my friend Greg’s parents’ house (they had no less than THREE stuffings on the table!) After my first taste I begged for the recipe, and was told there wasn’t one. I pestered my friend until he gave me some approximate amounts, and finally this year I whipped up my own version. You can make this dish in the oven or on the stove, and it can easily be prepped a day or two beforehand. It is adaptable to whatever dried fruits you have on hand. One addition I made to the recipe is the bourbon (hence the recipe name), and I have to say I think it added great flavor. Rum would be good too, come to think of it… ooh and figs. I think I just decided on next year’s variation!

 Boozy Fruit Stuffing

Boozy Fruit Stuffing for Thanksgiving |

Time: 30 mins     Serves 8 (as a very small side/large condiment)


  • 1 cup chopped apple
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup dried apricots (if large, cut in half)
  • 1 cup dried prunes (if large, cut in half)
  • 1 cup dried dates (if large, cut in half)
  • 2 pinches saffron (use if you have it; don’t go out and buy it if you don’t)
  • 1 cup stock (preferably from the turkey, but you can also use veggie stock for any vegetarians)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup bourbon
  • a sprinkle of salt and a few cranks of ground pepper


Option 1: combine everything in a pot on the stove over medium flame; stirring occasionally at the beginning until the fruit starts to get juicy. Then put the lid on and cook gently for 15 minutes or so, until the apples are cooked and the dried fruits are soft.

Option 2: combine everything in an oven-safe dish, and pop into the oven with your turkey (or actually stuff it into your turkey if you prefer), at whatever temp it happens to be roasting. Check after about 20-25 minutes for doneness (cooked apples and softened fried fruit).

With its jewel tones, this looks beautiful on the table or surrounding the turkey. AND it is divine on turkey sandwich leftovers the next day. This would also be great with pork. It’s so simple and tasty, it might just become a fixture on your holiday table.

Boozy Fruit Stuffing for Thanksgiving |

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