A cross between savory bread pudding and classic stuffing, this Thanksgiving-ready dressing is rich with the flavors of leeks and shallots, toasted bread, herbs, and celery, all offset by tangy chèvre.
Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Lightly rub a 9-inch round baking dish or the equivalent with butter.
Place the bread on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until dry and lightly golden, 20-40 minutes depending on the type of bread used. Soft white bread will toast more quickly than heartier breads with whole grain flours, so keep an eye on it.
Place the sliced leeks in a large bowl and cover with cool water. Separate the leek rounds to rinse them of any sandy dirt and let sit for 5 minutes, swirling a few times. Any sand should sink to the bottom of the bowl.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a wide skillet over medium heat. When the butter is hot, lift the leeks from their bowl, shaking off excess water, and add to the skillet. Add the shallot, celery, garlic, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 5-10 minutes. Pour in the wine and continue cooking until evaporated, 2-4 more minutes.
Place the dry bread in a large bowl and add the leek mixture along with the parsley, sage, thyme, and pepper.
Whisk the egg and broth together to combine, then pour this over the bread mixture. Toss well to combine, then let sit for 5 minutes to absorb a bit of moisture, tossing a few times.
Scoop half of the bread mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with half of the crumbled goat cheese. Top with the remaining bread and liquid, then sprinkle with the remaining goat cheese. Dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter cut into small pieces.
Bake the stuffing until the top is golden and crisp and the center is hot, 40-50 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh parsley if desired and serve warm.
To feed a crowd: double the recipe and bake it in a 9x13-inch baking pan.If gluten isn't an issue: use any rustic wheat bread you like, such as a sourdough boule or batard.Make ahead options: The stuffing can be baked the day before, cooled, covered, and chilled. When ready to serve, uncover the stuffing and heat in a 350º oven until warmed through, about 20 minutes. If the stuffing dries out, sprinkle with a bit more vegetable broth to moisten. Alternatively, prepare the bread and vegetables the day before, then assemble and bake the stuffing the day of serving.