BREAD STUFFING WITH SAUSAGE, PECANS, AND DRIED APRICOTS
Makes About 12 Cups
High-quality sausage is the key to this recipe. Toast the pecans in a 350-degree oven until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes.
• 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
• 4 medium stalks celery, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
• 1/2 teaspoon each dried sage, dried thyme, and dried marjoram
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
• 2 cups pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
• 1 cup dried apricots, cut into thin strips
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 12 cups dried French or other white bread cubes
• 1 cup homemade turkey or chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
• 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1. Cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Discard the fat and in the same pan melt the butter.
2. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until soft and translucent, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the dried herbs and pepper and cook for another minute. Transfer the contents of the pan to the bowl with the sausage. Add the parsley, pecans, apricots, and salt and mix to combine. Add the bread cubes to the bowl.
3. Whisk the stock and eggs together in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the bread cubes. Gently toss to evenly distribute the ingredients.
Stuffing may be stored covered and reefrigerated for up to one day. Reheat in a microwave safe pan or in a 325 degree oven before stuffing turkey. Place any stuffing that won't fit in the bird in a greased 8 inch square baking dish. Drizzle 1/4 cup stock over the stuffing, dot with pats of butter, and cover with foil smeared with butter. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, remove the foil, and continue to bake until the stuffing forms a golden brown crust, about 15 minutes longer.