Delicata Squash, Sage and Pancetta Stuffing is a classic stuffing, updated. It has the flavor of the original with the addition of sweet squash, salty pancetta and nutty brown butter. A crowd pleaser for sure!
The day before: Tear bread into 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch pieces. Lay out on a baking sheet and let dry out for 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss chopped squash with olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast until golden brown and slightly soft. You don't want them too soft, because they will cook again in the stuffing.
Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x12 baking dish. Add dried bread to a very large bowl., Cook pancetta until crisp in a large skillet. Pour the pancetta along with any accumulated fat over the bread. Wipe the pan clean.
Add 4 tablespoons butter to the same skillet. Once it's melted, add the onion, celery, sage and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sweat until slightly softened, about 3-4 minutes. Again, they don't need to be mush, as they will continue to cook in the oven. In the last 30 seconds of cooking, add the poultry seasoning. Pour mixture over bread. Wipe the pan clean.
Add remaining 6 tablespoons butter to the same skillet. Turn the heat on medium-high. Let the butter melt and once it begins to turn brown, swirl the pan. Continue to swirl the pan until the butter becomes a deep brown color and smells nutty. Turn the heat off and pour the butter over the vegetables and bread. Add 1/4 cup of the chicken stock to the pan, and use a wooden spoon to get all the brown bits up. Pour over bread and vegetables.
Add 1 1/2 cups chicken stock to a liquid measuring cup. Add eggs. Whisk until eggs are completely combined. Pour over bread and veggies. Add remaining 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup chicken stock and roasted squash. Toss GENTLY until combined. Season to taste with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning.
Pour stuffing into prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake another 35-40 minutes or until the stuffing is golden brown on top.