This past Veteran’s Day weekend, my parents were in town to celebrate “Thanksgiving” with me, my sister, our hubbies, and my beautiful 3-month old niece. One of the dishes that I was in charge of preparing was the stuffing. You can’t have turkey dinner without stuffing; it’s like having mashed potatoes without gravy (no one should be subjected to that!). I looked at several stuffing recipes, but settled on this Italian Sausage Stuffing. You remove sweet Italian sausages from their casings and brown them up into delicious little crumbles that are distributed throughout the stuffing. If you want your stuffing to have a little kick, you could use hot Italian sausages instead. One of the things that my hubby noticed was the slight crunch of the stuffing; I like my stuffing to bake for a little bit longer so it has some body and crunch instead of being on the mushier side. You can really adapt this recipe to your liking.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?
- 2 loaves Italian bread, crusts removed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (20 cups)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 large celery ribs, finely diced
- 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped sage leaves
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread the bread cubes in a large roasting pan and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dry and lightly browned.
- In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil. Add the sausage and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat, until browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the chopped onion, celery and garlic and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the sage and butter.
- Scrape the mixture into a large bowl, add the bread cubes, and toss. Stir in the stock and season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon the stuffing into a shallow baking dish and bake until the stuffing is heated through and crisp on top, about 60 minutes. Serve with turkey and gravy.
*Adapted from Food & Wine