A Little Sweet and a Little Savory

December 22, 2011

An argument that may go on to the end of time: Stuffing or Dressing?

I like both, but when it comes to me preparing it, I vote for dressing.

This is another hit recipe from Thanksgiving and the leftovers were just a tasty the second and third time (hot or cold). Again, Jim said this was the best dressing he’s ever had…but he’s been saying that a lot lately. Not sure if my cooking skills are just getting better, or if he just really loves it when I’m doing the cooking. Either one is good in my book!

Dressing mixed and ready to go in the oven

Sage, Sausage and Apple Dressing

Ingredients
  • 16-ounce bag stuffing cubes
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan and topping
  • 1 pound of your favorite sausage (I used Andouille)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cooking apples, such as Gravenstein, Rome, or Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 to 2 ribs celery with leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Put the stuffing cubes in a large bowl and set aside. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook until it loses most of its pink color (if a raw sausage) but not so much that it’s dry, about 5 minutes. If using a sausage that’s already smoked, let it cook about five minutes to steep it’s flavor into the butter. Add the sausage and pan drippings to the stuffing cubes. Melt the remaining butter in the pan. Add the onion, apple, celery, and salt. Cook until the vegetables get soft, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, parsley and sage and bring to a boil.

Pour the vegetable mixture over the stuffing cubes and toss until evenly moistened. Mix in the walnuts and eggs. Loosely pack the dressing in the prepared pan and cook uncovered until the top forms a crust, about 40 minutes. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of turkey pan drippings or melted butter over the top. Cook until the top is crisp and golden, about 20 minutes more. Serve immediately or warm.

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