Cornbread Sausage Pecan Stuffing

Stuffing has become a misnomer. You shouldn’t actually stuff your turkey with the mix. It adds a substantial amount of cooking time to your turkey, and prevents the stuffing mix itself from getting that desirable golden brown crust. Bake the whole thing in a casserole dish, and you solve both problems. This stuffing is full of big flavors, from the meaty sausage and the tangy apple cider vinegar, to the toasty pecans, with the hearty cornbread as the perfect backdrop. Indulge your Southern side with this fresh twist on a Thanksgiving standby.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ pounds cornbread, cut into ½ cubes
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage links, casings removed, broken into bite sized pieces (I used a chicken and apple sausage)
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/4-inch slices celery
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4-cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs

Directions:

  • Toast the cubed corn bread at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, until dried out and golden brown (this will help the corn bread absorb all the flavors, and keeps your stuffing from getting soggy)
  • Sauté the onions in a splash of olive oil and tablespoon of butter until softened, then add the celery and garlic, and sauté until everything is tender.
  • Add broken up sausage, and cook until everything is golden and starting to brown
  • Add ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add the chopped pecans, chopped parsley, and minced thyme
  • Add 2 cups chicken stock and stir everything to combine
  • Add the cornbread cubes, mixing gently from the bottom of the pan up (don’t break the cornbread up!)
  • Beat the two eggs with 1/2 cup chicken stock, and add to the stuffing, if it seems dry, add the remaining stock. The mixture should look wet but not soggy.
  • Spread the stuffing evenly in a wide, shallow baking dish, cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
  • Remove the foil; increase the temperature to 400 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown on top.

Recipe inspired by www.bonappetit.com

Photo Credit: www.bonappetit.com

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