Since they’ve been married, my parents have been hosting Thanksgiving for the past 30+ years for our extended family, so we know all about cooking for a large crowd. Since we three kiddos have …
Since they’ve been married, my parents have been hosting Thanksgiving for the past 30+ years for our extended family, so we know all about cooking for a large crowd. Since we three kiddos have gotten older, we’ve grown into the roles of re-creating our favorite side dishes to help out. My sister makes the green bean casserole, Fred my dad is on the smoked turkey, Andrew’s on the wonderful role of shining china, and I have the duties of making grandma Shirley’s pumpkin pie and my famous sausage stuffing. It really isn’t all that “famous” but we have been so used to boxed “Stove Top” that when I decided to kick it up a notch and make stuffing from scratch, it was quite like calling it gourmet. It is several family members’ favorite dish of the day, and you won’t go back to stove-top again.
To make a sausage stuffing that will trick your guests into thinking you’ve slaved all day, you will need:
• 1 package Jimmy Dean sage stuffing
• one yellow onion minced (typically, you can find the mirepoix at Shoprite pre chopped! It’s a huge time saver)
• 4 stalks of celery finely sliced into half moons
• 2 tsp thyme
• 1 tsp fennel
• a package of cubed bread (Pepperidge Farm is my favorite)
• 4 tablespoons of butter (or more)
• 2 3/4 cup of chicken stock (homemade is always best!)
• salt and pepper.
To start, brown your sage sausage in a skillet. To the sausage I add my thyme and crushed fennel seed. Adding all your fresh or dried herbs gives a really good base to this dish and builds flavor.
I highly recommend Jimmy Dean sausage, but feel free to use your favorite local brand. Once your sausage is completely browned, drain the fat and set aside. Next, place about two tablespoons of butter into a skillet along with a heavy sprinkle of salt and add your minced onion and celery. Don’t forget to scrape up all the browned bits from the sausage. The salt is going to draw out all the liquid from your onion and help them to become nice and tender. You do not want to brown them, you simply want to make it so the vegetables are translucent (clear).
“Sweat” your onion and celery and set that aside as well. Next, in a large bowl, combine your sausage, bread cubes, onion/celery mixture, and chicken stock. The stock is going to become soaked up by the bread and gives additional flavor. Bake the stuffing for one hour, uncovered, in a 350ºF oven. If you like your stuffing more on the moist side, cook your stuffing covered and add more stock.
This is a very versatile dish. I love eating this stuffing not just on Thanksgiving, but with a nice pork chop and beans. Typically, I will make two trays. One with sausage and one without sausage (and with veggie stock) for the vegetarians in the bunch. P.S. It tastes even better the next day!
Another great hack for Thanksgiving is saving the turkey carcass for leftover turkey soup the next day. If you’d like a full recipe feel free to email me at email@example.com! It is so comforting in these cold winter days, plus you’re not spending more money on food.
I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving holiday!
claire Stabbert is an accomplished cook who loves to try new recipes. While she does enjoy eating at restaurants, she also loves to whip up a good meal at home. Claire gets some of her cooking inspiration from her grandfather and grandmother, Fred and Shirley Stabbert as well as Great Grandma Nellie.
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