November 14, 2011
I developed this recipe last Thanksgiving and have been waiting to share it with you!
I. LOVE. This. Stuffing.
An unexpected pair of ingredients—apples and pecorino—make this rustic dressing seem more highfalutin than it really is. A good thing. And the light touch of herbs, unusual for stuffing, helps achieve a wonderful balance of flavor. This isn’t the typical rosemary, sage and thyme show. Instead, it’s a simple harmony of sweet, nutty and savory.
That’s right, folks: this recipe makes humble ingredients sing. And I, for one, can’t wait to hear the song again.
Best Chicken-Apple Sausage Stuffing
(can be shared with kids 8+ mos)*
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped leeks
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 large cloves)
12 oz chicken-apple sausage, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1 cup chopped dried apple
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
6 cups cubed stale bread (I like sourdough)
4 cups chicken broth, plus more if necessary
1/4 cup grated pecorino
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1. Heat oil and butter over medium-high heat in a large dutch oven. Add onion, carrots, celery, leeks and garlic; saute until vegetables soften and onion is translucent.
2. Push vegetables up against the sides of the dutch oven creating a well in the center and add sausage in the open space. Cook for 5 minutes before combining the sausage and vegetables. Add dried apple, a teaspoon of salt, nutmeg and pepper. Continue cooking until the sausage and vegetables are cooked through and begin to caramelize. Remove from heat. If your dutch oven is large enough, add stale bread to sausage mixture and set aside. Otherwise, transfer sausage mixture to an extra large bowl, add stale bread and then set aside.
3. Heat broth in a separate pot set over medium heat. Once heated through, pour over the bread and sausage mixture. Stir, allowing the bread to soak up the moisture. Add pecorino and sage and stir to combine. Taste and, if necessary, adjust seasoning and liquid.
*Note: Like most stuffings, this is nice and soft, perfect fare for kids 8+ months already managing soft finger foods. In fact, with chicken sausage already mixed in, this makes a great Thanksgiving main for your littlest eaters!