A good Thanksgiving stuffing is full of flavor, crunchy on top but moist in the middle. I have tried many, many variations of stuffing over the years, but I always come back to this version with its balance of sweet and savory. If you prefer, use pork sausage for even more flavor, but be sure to drain it well before adding to the mixture. You can also use any apples you prefer, tart or sweet. Make it vegetarian by leaving out the sausage and using vegetable stock instead of chicken.
- 2 small French bread baguettes, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 3 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 lb. turkey or chicken sausage, cut up into 1-inch chunks
- 2 tbsp. fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, stripped from stem and chopped
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, stripped from stem and chopped
- 3 sage leaves, minced fine
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 10 grinds freshly ground black pepper
- 1 c. low-sodium chicken stock or broth
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toss bread crumbs with 2 tbsp. melted butter and bake on 13×18 baking sheet for about 7 to 8 minutes until just browned and crispy.
Meanwhile, in large sauté pan, melt 2 tbsp. butter over medium heat and add the onion, celery, and apples. Sauté for 8 minutes until softened. Add honey and red wine vinegar; sauté for 1 minute. Remove to large bowl. Cook sausage in same sauté pan until just cooked through; drain if needed.
Add baked bread cubes, cooked sausage, all fresh herbs, sea salt and pepper to cooked vegetables/apples in a large bowl; add chicken stock and toss to moisten evenly.
In a 9×13 baking dish brushed with butter, transfer stuffing to dish and bake covered for 40 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until browned on top, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
Cheers and happy cooking!