You guys! There’s just one week left until Turkey Day… are you ready? Do you have your menu planned? I am cooking again this year, but will be transporting all of the side dishes to my mom’s house 3 hours away. An adventure for sure.
Does your family stick to “the favorite” recipes or do you try and change things up each year? I like to go both ways: traditional for the sweet potato casserole and mac and cheese and I will be changing things up with the turkey seasonings and some of the vegetable side dishes. And of course, a new take on stuffing.
I am actually not a big fan of stuffing, but I do love cornbread. I know cornbread stuffing (or “dressing” if you prefer) is pretty traditional, but I’ve only ever had the white-bread kind. And it’s okay, but I’d rather pick a more delicious starch for my Thanksgiving plate (mashed potatoes, amiright?).
But this cornbread stuffing is a perfect combination of spicy, savory, sweet, and tart and a welcome addition to any T-day plate. Spicy and savory from the sausage, veggies and herbs, sweet from the cornbread and tart from the apple and cranberries. So good!
1 package of cornbread, baked and cut into 1-inch cubes
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, small dice
2 ribs celery, small dice
1 pound spicy sausage, casing removed, broken into bite-size chunks
2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely diced
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, minced
2 cups dried cranberries
3 to 4 cups chicken stock
Dry out cornbread overnight or place cornbread cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake until dry in a 300 degree oven, about 20 minutes; set aside. Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Coat a large saute pan with olive oil, add the onions and celery and saute over to medium heat. Season with salt and cook until the vegetables start to become soft and are very aromatic. Add the sausage and cook until the sausage begins to brown. Stir in the garlic and apple and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the herbs and cook for another minute, then remove from heat. In a large bowl mix together the cornbread, cranberries, and the sausage mixture. Add chicken stock and knead with your hands until the bread is very moist, actually wet. Taste to check for seasoning and season with salt, if needed, and transfer to an ovenproof dish. Bake the stuffing until it is hot all the way through and is crusty on top, about 30 to 35 minutes.