November 26th, 2008
I love stuffing. It is one of my favorite dishes, and I always have it just this one time a year-so it better be good! This recipe is my take on my mothers classic stuffing as I was growing up. It is full of sausage, tart apples and golden raisins and toasted walnuts. It has a wonderful variety of flavor and great texture. I like to stuff the bird, and then bake the rest of the stuffing in a buttered baking dish so that there are plenty of leftovers for me!!
(This makes enough for 10-12 people)
-2 Rustic Bread Loaves, (about 22oz each)
-1 lb sausage (I like to mix ½ spicy and ½ mild pork sausage)
-3 Tbs of butter
-2 yellow onions, finely chopped
-6 Ribs of celery, finely chopped
-2 large carrots, finely chopped
-8 oz of crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
-2 granny smith apples, finely chopped
-1 cup toasted walnuts
-1 cup golden raisins
-1 large bunch parsley, chopped
-2 Tbs of sage, chopped
-3 Tbs of butter
-1 cup sherry
-4 cups chicken stock
* keep extra chicken stock on hand to make sure that the stuffing isn’t dry!!
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2) Slice the bread into cubes and spread on baking sheets, (it will probably take two).
3) Toast the bread for about 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted, but not browning. Let the bread cubes cool on the sheet pans. When they are cool, pour them into a very large bowl.
4) In a heavy skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat. Break up the sausage as it cooks, so that it is in small bite sized pieces. Empty the sausage into the bowl of bread cubes.
5) Put the skillet back on the stove top, and melt 3 Tbs of butter into the sausage drippings. Add the onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms.
6) Sprinkle a tsp of salt over the vegetables, and let them sweat until translucent and soft, about 7 minutes. Add the apples and cook another 5 minutes, occasionally stirring to combine and transfer the heat. Empty the vegetables into the bowl.
7) Return the skillet to the bowl, and add another 3 Tbs of butter to the skillet. Let it melt, and then before it is too hot, add the sherry. Let the alcohol burn off, it should take just about a minute.
8) Add the chicken broth, and bring it all to a simmer. Add the broth to the bowl of bread and vegetables. Add the raisins, walnuts and sage and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
9) If you are making the stuffing the day before, refrigerate it at this point and add the beaten eggs immediately before baking. Otherwise, combine the eggs at this point.
10) Stir everything together, and put into a greased baking dish. If the stuffing looks dry, pour some extra chicken stock in the pan before baking. This is especially important if the stuffing has allready been refrigerated.
11) Cover the baking dish with parchment paper, and then foil and bake the stuffing at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
12) Remove foil, and bake another 10-15 minutes, until the stuffing is hot throughout and the top is toasty.