Discord swarms around the issue of stuffing. Should it be cooked in the bird or baked alongside, dressing-style? White bread or corn bread? Firm enough to slice, or as soft as pudding?
Call this recipe the peacemaker, because its adaptable enough to make everyone happy. You can use either white or corn bread (and gluten-free corn bread works perfectly). You can add more or less liquid to alter the texture. Since its flavored with both mushrooms and bacon, vegetarians can nix the meat without sacrificing all the flavor. And although we advocate for cooking it outside the bird (the top crisps and the turkey cooks faster), if you want to stuff, you can do that, too.
In all cases, this stuffing makes a moist and savory bed for the gravy, which is exactly what everybody wants.
HEAT oven to 250 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Trim crusts from white bread and cut into 1-inch cubes; if using corn bread, coarsely crumble it. Spread bread pieces out on one or two large baking sheets. Toast in the oven, tossing occasionally, until very dry, about 30 minutes for white bread, 1 hour for corn bread. Transfer to a large bowl to cool. Raise oven temperature to 375 degrees.
COOK bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain, leaving the fat in the pan. Add leeks to bacon fat and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Add mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, until mushrooms are tender and most of their juices have evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in sage and cook 1 minute. Add wine and cook until it evaporates, about 2 minutes.
SPOON mushroom mixture over dried bread. Stir in stock. If using white bread, stir in cider. Add parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. The mixture should be moist and very soft. If you like your stuffing extremely moist, add enough stock to make it seem slightly soggy but not wet. (Think pudding.) Crumble bacon and stir it in.
TRANSFER mixture to prepared baking pan. Drizzle melted butter over the stuffing. Bake until golden, 35 to 45 minutes.
Note: Stuffing can be made up to two days ahead. Store in the fridge, then reheat in a 350-degree oven for about 25 to 35 minutes. If the top isn’t crunchy, run it under the broiler before serving.Yield: 8 to 10 servings