I absolutely love making stuffing. I don’t make it only for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but those are the two times when I make a massive amount and want to use it in sandwiches and leftover meals for a few days. It’s just so incredibly tasty!
I start making the ingredients for my stuffing a day or so before I actually put everything together for the meal. It’s easier to cook the sausage a few days in advance and, since I bake the stuffing bread (see previous post) for most of my stuffing, that *has* to be done earlier.
I start two or three days ahead and bake a loaf of bread, then cube it and allow it to dry on a tray. NOTE: Make sure to let your family know that you’re starting your holiday meal prep or your drying bread may get a little toastier than you expected. The sausage can be cooked two to three days ahead and kept in the fridge – I like to rinse the sausage once it’s cooked to remove an excess fat, but that’s simply because the cooled fat grosses me out.
Here’s the basic recipe for my Sausage and Apple Stuffing:
- 2 loaves of bread cut into cubes (I like to use 1 loaf of Italian bread and 1 loaf of Stuffing bread)
- 1 lb bulk sage sausage (browned and cooled)
- 2 apples (I use 1 sweet apple and 1 granny smith apple), chopped fine
- 1 stick margarine
- 1 1/2 cups liquid (I use half Oaked Chardonnay and half chicken stock)
- turkey liver (from the bag inside the bird)
- 3 ribs of celery with tops, diced
- 1 small to medium onion, diced
- 2 packets G. Washington Golden Bouillon (use your own preferred brand)
- 2 eggs (keep a third egg on hand in case needed)
- Salt and pepper to taste, herbs as you want * I like to add some poultry seasonings (both ground and dried) and parsley.
- Mix the bread, sausage and apple together in a HUGE bowl (you need a big enough bowl to get everything incorporated well)
- Melt margarine into the liquid, and cook the turkey liver.
- Once the liver is cooked, add this mixture to the celery and onion and blend until everything is well pulverized. I use a Stick blender (immersion blender) in a high-sided bowl until everything is totally incorporated and all the veggies are unrecognizable. Add bouillon packets to the liquids and stir to combine.
- Add your liquid to the bread mixture, top with the two eggs, and use your hands to incorporate everything into the stuffing. Add salt and pepper as needed and use the third egg if the stuffing doesn’t hold together well. NOTE: Take your time with this step and make sure to taste the stuffing as you are blending. As my mom always said “if it doesn’t taste good raw, it won’t taste good when it’s cooked”. This may seem gross, but the nuances in taste as you add a little more salt or extra parsley will make the difference between a stuffing that tastes good and one that knocks your socks off. We’re going for the “knock your socks off” taste here.
- Once the stuffing is done, stuff the turkey everywhere you can find space. I use the neck cavity as well as the body of the turkey. I’ve also taken to layering stuffing under the skin, on top of the breast meat and between the body and legs of the bird. This seems to add to the moist taste of the meat when you carve your turkey.
Enjoy! This should be a great addition to your holiday meal…