SAUSAGE, APPLE AND SOURDOUGH STUFFING
Recipe from Sober Celebrations
Technically a dressing, since it's baked outside the turkey, this "stuffing" is a perfect match for the Apple Cider Brined Turkey Surprisingly the best type of sourdough bread to use here is the pre-sliced packaged variety found in the bread aisle of your supermarket. Keep the crusts on (discard the end slices) and with a serrated knife, cut four slices at a time into 1/2-inch cubes.
I will sometimes substitute fennel for the celery here to complement the sausage and bring another layer of flavor to the final result, so feel free to do the same if you are a fennel fan. Your choice of apple is not particularly important as long as it is the type that remains somewhat firm when cooked. Cortland, Rome Beauty Granny Smith, and even Yellow Delicious are good choices. To save time, you can cube and toast the bread the day before and store it overnight in a plastic bag.
• One 24-ounce loaf of sliced sourdough bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 medium-size onions, peeled and chopped
• 2 cups chopped celery stalks or fennel bulbs
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 3 medium-size apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
• 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
• 2 teaspoons each dried rubbed sage, dried thyme, and dried marjoram
• 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
• 1/2 cup apple juice
• 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the cubed bread on two large, rimmed baking sheets and bake in the oven until just golden on the edges, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
2. In a large skillet, fry the sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a fork until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the bowl with the bread cubes. Melt the butter in the same skillet, add the onions and celery (or fennel), sprinkle with salt and pepper, and saute for 8 to 10 minutes until softened, stirring often. Add the apples and herbs, and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to the large mixing bowl with the sausage and bread. Add the eggs, apple juice, and chicken broth to the stuffing mixture, and stir well to combine.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Loosely arrange the stuffing mixture in a buttered 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish, cover with nonstick or buttered foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake a further 15 minutes until the top is just crisp and slightly golden.