cooking

cranberry sausage stuffing

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This is it, this is the stuffing you’re going to want to make over and over again.  And since we’re less than a week away from the food-filled holiday, why would you keep searching?  I have to confess that I’ve never made a stuffing and actually stuffed a turkey with it because I’ve heard rumors (or truths) about how it dries out the turkey or how you can’t fit much in there anyway.  Either way, I don’t think I’d ever stuff a turkey with the knowledge that that would be the only stuffing at the dinner table.

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Each Thanksgiving, I still search around and read different stuffing recipes just to see what other creations are out there, but I always end up making the same one.  I think eventually I might try something new, but for now, this one is at the top of my list because each ingredient adds a unique element to the dish.

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I have a little bit of a sweet tooth so the addition of apples and cranberries give this dish the touch of sweetness I’m looking for to balance out the other savory piles of food.  If you’re not big on either fruit, don’t eliminate them completely, but maybe cut the portion down.  As for the herbs, I prefer to use fresh herbs because of their deep color and the strong smell, but dried herbs work just as good and are probably already in your pantry.  I do tweak the recipe a bit each time just to test the waters.  This time around I opted for this super flavorful cast iron cornbread recipe from bon appétit, which has creamed corn and green chilies in it.  Other times, I’ve just used my basic cornbread recipe.

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Stuffing kind of gives you an opportunity to get creative and throw in ingredients you like without failing.  If I’m not so stubborn next year, I might throw in some sweet potatoes!  Let this stuffing be your creative outlet and happily watch it disappear at your Thanksgiving party.  All that will be left will be satisfied people with stuffed bellies!

Cranberry Sausage Stuffing

prep time: 15 minutes

cook time: 35 minutes

serves: 8-10 people

ingredients

  • 2 heaping cups of wheat bread (cubed)
  • 3 heaping cups of white bread (cubed)
  • 3 heaping cups of homemade cornbread
  • 1 pound turkey sausage*
  • 1 cup onions (chopped)
  • 1 cup celery (chopped)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons fresh sage (minced)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary (minced)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme (minced)
  • 1 golden delicious apple (chopped)
  • ¾ cup cranberries
  • ¼ cup parsley (chopped) + more for garnish
  • ¾ cup chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons of butter (melted)

directions

Bake your favorite tray of cornbread and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake cubed wheat and white bread for about 10 minutes or until all nicely toasted.

In a large pan, cook turkey sausage under medium heat.  Add chopped onions and celery and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Stir in sage, rosemary and thyme for about 2 minutes.

In a large bowl with toasted bread, crumble in the cornbread.  Add the cooked turkey sausage mixture and mix well.  Throw in chopped apple, cranberries, parsley and mix some more.  Mix chicken stock and melted butter together and slowly pour into the bowl.  At this point, you can stuff this with your turkey or put it in a 9 by 13 inch pan and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.  I prefer the latter because this way, you can scoop a lot more onto your plate!

*For the turkey sausage, I make the sausage blend myself.  Use 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon ground sage, 1 teaspoon ground thyme and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes.

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