Tuesday, November 26, 2013

sage sausage and apple dressing

Thanksgiving.  Give me the great conversation, the Macy's Day Parade, and the sides, please.  While so many are concerned with the proper preparation of the bird, I will gladly have my fill of the supporting actors at the table.  I do like a good, well-seasoned and juicy piece of turkey like the next guy, but if there aren't fantastic sides to accompany, I'm at a loss.  And there's no way I'd know what to do with a Thanksgiving plate sans dressing and cranberry sauce.  They are my absolute favorites!

So, to celebrate this week, I'm sharing a couple of my favorite recipes with you.  If you haven't chosen yours yet, these will not disappoint.  

Today's feature is the dressing.  I know I've said before how much I love sweet and salty together.  This dressing is not sweet, mind you, but the apples add a slight sweetness that rounds out the flavor beautifully.  And if you aren't a sage fan, don't worry that this is too strong.  It's just enough to make it... well... Thanksgiving'ish.   

So excited.  In less than 48 hours it will be my favorite holiday.  And to make it more special, Indiana has already had some light snow since we've been in town.  Even more reason to scoot closer to the fire (and the ones I love) and count blessings.  God is good.

Sage Sausage and Apple Dressing
makes 8-10 servings
  • 16-oz bag stuffing cubes (I use Pepperidge Farm)
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan and topping
  • 1 lb sage sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cooking apples (I use Golden Delicious), peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1-2 ribs celery with leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp 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
~ Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

~ Put stuffing cubes in large bowl and set aside.  Butter 3 quart baking dish or 9x13 pan.

~ Melt 2 tbsp butter in large skillet and add sausage, breaking apart and cooking until
    pink is just gone but not dried out, about 5 minutes.  Do not overcook.  

~  Add sausage and drippings to bread cubes.

~ Melt the remaining butter in the pan and add the onion, apples, and celery cooking until
    softened, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt and stir.

~ Add broth to pan and bring to a boil.  Stir in parsley.

~ Pour mixture over bread cubes and toss until evenly moistened.  Mix in the walnuts and

~ Pack loosely into dish and cook, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until top forms a crust.

~ Remove pan from oven and pour 2 tbsp turkey drippings or melted butter over top and 
    return to oven for another 20 minutes, or until top is crisp and golden.

Recipe from Food Network.