Sausage, Cranberry & Pecan Stuffing
- 8 Cups of 1/2" Pieces Firm White Bread (3/4 lb)
- 1-1/2 lb Fresh Pork Sausage Meat - Crumbled
- 1/2 Stick (1/4 Cup) Unsalted Butter
- 2 Onions - Chopped
- 3 Celery Ribs - Sliced 1/4" Thick
- 1 Granny Smith Apple - Peeled and Cut into 1/2" Pieces
- 2 Tsp Minced Garlic
- 1-1/2 Cups Chopped Pecans (8-oz) - Toasted
- 1 Cup Dried Cranberries
- 1 Tbs Chopped Fresh Sage
- 1 to 1-1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Toast bread in a large shallow baking pan in middle of oven until dry and pale golden (~20 minutes).
- Cook sausage in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat, stirring and breaking up large lumps, until no longer pink, about 5 miunutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.
- Add butter to fat remaining in skillet and cook onions, stirring until softened (~7 minutes). Add celery, apple, and garlic and cook, stirring about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl with sausage and stir in bread, pecans, cranberries, sage, and salt & pepper to taste.
- Transfer stuffing to a buttered 3-to-4 quarter shallow baking dish and drizzle with broth (Use 1-1/2 cups broth if you like a moist stuffing, 1 cup if you prefer it drier). Cover with foil and bake in middle of oven 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until bread is golden and stuffing is heated through (~20-25 minutes more).
Cooks' Note: Stuffing can be assembled (but not baked), without nuts, 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Toss in pecans and bring to room temperature before baking. Makes about 12 cups.
Gourmet (November 2000)