Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sage, Sausage & Apple Dressing

I've been searching high and low for the perfect dressing to serve for Thanksgiving. I don't want to use the boxed stuff. But its been hard to find a tried and true dressing recipe. One thing was for sure. I really wanted to use sausage and apples in the recipe. So I found this recipe that was the best of both worlds. The use of boxed cubes and a recipe using sausage and apples. And it came out so good. To add a little twist to it, I used half of the recipe and added some dried cranberries and toasted walnut pieces for a little bit more depth of flavor. I think I may have found my dressing recipe.

16-ounce bag stuffing cubes
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more to grease the pan and topping
1 lb. sage sausage (I used Jimmy Dean's Sage breakfast sausage)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1-2 ribs celery with eaves, chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 tsp. salt
3 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces (optional)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 eggs, beaten

1) Preheat oven to 325 deg F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish.

2) Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook until no longer pink, but not so much that its dry, about 5 minutes. Place stuffing cubes in a large mixing bowl and add cooked sausage and pan drippings into the bowl.

3) Melt the remaining butter in the pan. Add the onion, apple, celery, carrot, corn, and salt. Cook until the vegetables get soft, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and parsley and bring to a boil.

4) Pour mixture over the stuffing cubes and toss until evenly moistened. Mix in walnuts and cranberries (if using) and eggs. Loosely pack the dressing in the prepared pan and cook uncovered until the top forms a crust, about 40 minutes. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of turkey pan drippings or melted butter over the top. Cook until the top is crisp and golden, about 20 minutes more.

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