16 cups coarsely crumbled homemade or store-bought cornbreads
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for dish
8 slices smoked bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
4 stalks celery, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
4leeks (white and pale-green parts only), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces, rinsed well
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 cups homemade chicken or turkey stock, or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350F.
Spread pecans on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in oven for 7 minutes. Let cool slightly; coarsely chop. Mix together pecans and cornbread in a large bowl.
Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Cook bacon in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat until almost crisp, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; add celery and leeks. Cook until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in thyme and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt; season with pepper. Transfer to a large bowl.
Return skillet to medium-high heat, and add stock; bring to a simmer, scraping up brown bits and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Add to bowl with bacon-vegetable mixture. Stir in eggs. Gently mix in cornbread mixture. (Do not overmix.) Transfer to baking dish. Dot top with butter. Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes.
Adapted by Rachel Willen, FoodFixMe.com, from Martha Stewart Living.