Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sourdough Stuffing With Apples, Sausage and Prunes

This is the stuffing I usually make for Thanksgiving, except with a few variations.

I love the taste of sweet madeira so I usually reduce the broth in order to incorporate it into the recipe.  I also drizzle some of the drippings from the turkey over the stuffing about 10 minutes before it is done.

For traditionality, I will put some inside the turkey but really prefer to bake it separately so it will form a crust.  But it's up to you, both ways work.  For best results, though, be sure to use artisanal sourdough bread.

If you are feeling rich, by all means add some chestnuts!


1 1/2-pound loaf sourdough bread, crusts removed, bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 13 cups)

2 pounds bulk pork breakfast sausage

2 large onions, chopped (about 4 generous cups)

2 cups chopped celery (about 5 stalks)

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided

6 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled Granny Smith apples (about 28 ounces)

3/4 cup prunes (about 4 ounces)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

2 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth

3 large eggs


Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spread bread cubes in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until pale golden, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer bread to very large bowl.

Sauté sausage in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking up into small pieces with back of fork, 8 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to bowl with bread cubes.

Add onions and celery to drippings in skillet; sauté until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Transfer to bowl with bread-sausage mixture (do not clean skillet).

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples; sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add to bowl with bread mixture; mix in prunes.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over low heat. Add 2 tablespoons sage; stir 30 seconds. Add sage butter to bowl with bread-sausage mixture; toss to blend. Season stuffing with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

 DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Generously butter 15 x 10 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Whisk broth and eggs in medium bowl; add to stuffing and toss to mix. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Bake stuffing uncovered until top is golden and crisp in spots, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

Variations: use 1/2 cup less broth and add 1/2 cup Madeira

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