Thursday, November 15, 2012

Joey's Sausage and Cornbread Stuffing

As I always say, More is More! So I figured it was time to come up with another new recipe for stuffing to go with your turkey dinner. More options are always a good thing, dontcha think?
 In my family, we always have your basic classic stuffing, but we usually don't have corn bread stuffing with our holiday meal, so I really enjoyed coming up with this recipe. It's always nice to try some thing new! I think it hits all the right notes that say Thanksgiving, and also I added a few little extra touches. I'm SO pleased with it and I hope you'll give it a try!

1 lb pork sausage, casings removed, crumbled
4 tbs butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 ribs celery, finely chopped
 salt and pepper
2 pounds prepared cornbread, broken up
dried poultry seasoning to taste
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 cup craisins
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1-2 cups chicken broth

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat, stirring often, until browned and cooked through. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a very large bowl.
Add butter to the pan, then add onion and celery. Reduce heat to medium; cook, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, (add a little water if you need to) until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Season generously with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Add apples and craisins, and cook just a couple minutes longer. Add to sausage.
Add cornbread and eggs to sausage and vegetables. Mix all together. Bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan; pour 1/2 cup over stuffing, and toss gently (cornbread will break down into smaller pieces). If needed, add up to 1/2 cup more broth, until stuffing feels moist, but not wet. Spoon stuffing into a baking pan. When you're ready to bake, pour remaining broth over the entire amount of stuffing, then bake for about 20 minutes.

I just used purchased corn bread instead of baking my own, but if you have the time, be my guest!
You can make this a day ahead. Just cover and refrigerate until you're ready to bake.
If you'd like it to be more sausagey than corn bready, feel free to adjust the amounts to suit your taste.
The same goes for the amount of poultry seasoning. I like a very spicy stuffing, so I usually add a lot, like, probably a couple tablespoons. There are a lot of sweet ingredients (apples, craisins, and of course, the cornbread itself) so you really need the savory flavors from the dried herbs and the sausage to balance it out. If you'd like to use some or all Italian hot sausage instead of the mild, go for it!

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