I didn’t host Thanksgiving this year, which is one of my favorite things. This was the first year in a really long time I haven’t hosted, but I’m glad I was still able to make some contributions to dinner. (Thanks Annie & Dave for having me – I had a great time!)
I brought stuffing and honey yeast rolls with brown sugar honey butter. I used some of my vintage Pyrex dishes to make the stuffing, and Le Creuset stoneware pie dishes for the rolls. I made everything at home and transported it a half hour to dinner, which meant an interesting packing job with rubber bands to hold the Pyrex lids on and a selection of dish towels and oven mitts to make sure nothing broke during the car ride. The stuffing came out great. I cooked it almost all the way at my house and finished it in the oven when I arrived.
- 1 small bunch of celery
- 3 honeycrisp apples
- 2 small-medium onions
- 3 large mild Italian sausage patties
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp white pepper
- 1 qt chicken stock
- 16-18 cups hard cubed bread (you want it to be almost crouton-like)
- Butter (for greasing casserole dish)
I used dried herbs, so you will want to adjust proportions if you’re using fresh.
Set aside bread cubes into one or two large mixing bowls.
Preheat a large (or possibly two) saute pan over medium heat. I used my Le Creuset 5qt braiser and it was the perfect size.
Prep onions, apples, and celery and set aside together:
- Onions – small dice
- Celery – leaves removed, medium dice
- Apples – peeled and cored, small dice
Add sausage patties to the pan, breaking up the pieces as it cooks. Cook all the way through until the sausage starts to brown. Add onions, apples, and celery to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and the apples start to get soft.
Mix with bread cubes in mixing bowl(s) using a spatula or wooden spoon. Add sage, rosemary, thyme, white pepper, and salt, and mix well. Transfer into one or more greased casserole dishes. Add chicken stock. You want the bread to be a little wet, but not too wet.
Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes until the top is crispy and the rest seems to be dry-ish (just push down on it and see if it still seems wet or not). Watch and make sure the top doesn’t start to burn. If it does, put the lid of the casserole dish on, or cover with aluminum foil. I cooked mine uncovered and it was fine.
If after about 20 minutes it still seems too mushy/wet, put another cup or two of the dried bread in a mixing bowl. Carefully dump or transfer the stuffing from the casserole dish to the bowl, mix, transfer back to the casserole dish, and resume cooking.
Set everything out to prepare for all of your chopping. Have two bowls handy – one for the things you’re chopping, and the other for all of the scrap pieces (onion peels, apple cores, etc.) Then you can just toss all of the scraps once at the end.