Every year, the legal department at work does a Thanksgiving potluck. It's sort of a big deal! People talk for a few weeks in advance about what they want to bring. Even those no longer with my company talk about how they miss it. When I left the company for two years, I used to receive text messages with pictures from the potluck. :) I am back at the company, so I was excited for this year's Thanksgiving potluck! The sign-up sheet went out via e-mail on a Monday morning, and within an hour or so, just about everyone responded.
The day before the big feast, we had a cancellation, unfortunately, and needed stuffing. Since I've been trying to do more Thanksgiving inspired recipes, I volunteered to bring stuffing.
Stuffing is one of those things that you can just wing it and add whatever you want. I'm not a turkey fan (I know, weird, right?), so I go for stuffing with meat. My mom always put breakfast sausage in her stuffing, so that's what I did here. I dried the bread so that the bread cubes could better absorb the seasoning and other flavors. The sausage added some nice texture without overpowering the herb flavors. The stuffing turned out nice and moist and had that "Thanksgiving taste."
It was a great feast. Lawyers can cook! We had turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, Brussels sprouts with pancetta, corn pudding, butternut squash lasagna, cranberry sauce, two different salads, Hawaiian rolls with Irish butter, cheese and crackers, chocolate cupcakes, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, ice box cake, bundt cake, and cookies. Yep, nobody went hungry.
Herb Sausage Stuffing
Yields 20-25 servings
2 lb. bulk breakfast sausage (do not use precooked)
2 French baguettes, sliced into cubes
4 cups celery, diced
2 medium sweet onions, diced
1.5 tbsp. granulated garlic
1/2 cup (8 tbsp. or 1 stick), butter with 4 tbsp. sliced into pats
1 tbsp. dried sage
1 tbsp. dried rosemary
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. dried Italian herbs
1 can chicken broth/stock or 1 1/2 cups chicken broth/stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 225ºF. Place bread cubes on baking sheets and bake for about 20 minutes, or until dried but not brown. Set aside to cool, and then increase oven temperature to to 350ºF.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Discard the fat or add it back to the pan, and melt 1/4 cup (or 4 tbsp.) butter in the same pan.
Add the onion and celery and cook, while stirring occasionally, over medium heat until soft and translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the dried herbs, salt, and pepper, and stir until the herbs are dispersed. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl, and combine. Then, add the bread cubes. Pour the chicken broth over the bread cubes and gently toss.
Place the mixture in a buttered large pan (I a used 13 x 9-inch pan), dot with pats of butter, cover with foil, and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil, and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes, or until a golden crust forms on top of the stuffing.
Source: A Simply Sweet Justice Original