APPLE SAUSAGE CORNBREAD DRESSING

Is it called stuffing or is it called dressing? Do you use cornbread or whitebread? Do you place it in the bird or out of the bird? Is it a southern thing to call it dressing and a northern thing to call it stuffing? Let me set the record straight. Ain't nobody got time for all these questions!

It's stuffing if the mixture is cooked inside the cavity of the bird. It's dressing if the mixture is cooked outside of the bird in a baking dish. I prefer cornbread over whitebread, has more character. Always outside of the bird, besides I butterfly or spatchcock my turkey. And Brian is from the south and he calls it dressing. Bada bing, bada boom! Who says that?! I do.

Y'all should see my recipe sheet of this, it's funky. It's got a crease mark in the middle, its' been wet so it's rumpled, and its' got stains all over it. Of course, this is before I had the bright idea of putting it in a sheet protector. Yes, my thanksgiving recipes are sacred therefore belong in sheet protectors.

This is the only dressing I make for Thanksgiving. I don't know what I'm going to do next year now that I have a blog. I'll worry about that next year. Here's what I do know, this recipe makes a ton load! It's easy to follow and comfortingly delicious!

APPLE SAUSAGE CORNBREAD DRESSING

Inspired by Food Network

Serves 10 to 12

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 onions, diced

  • 4 celery ribs, diced

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped

  • 1 teaspoon celery seed

  • 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seed

  • 1 orange, zested

  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons fresh sage, finely chopped

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 pound ground turkey or pork sausage, casings removed (I used Central Market's Cajun Pork Sausage)

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 2 (16 ounce) packages cornbread stuffing

  • 3 cups chicken broth

  • 3 eggs, beaten

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

<cooking the apple sausage mixture>

  • Heat oil in a large pot or skillet over medium heat.

  • Add the onions, celery, garlic, apples, celery seed, fennel seed and orange zest. Stir for 1 minute.

  • Add the parsley and sage; cook and stir often, about 3 minutes.

  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • Add the ground sausage, break it up and cook until no longer pink, about 8 minutes.

  • Add the white wine to deglaze the pan, cook until alcohol is almost gone.

  • Stir in the heavy cream. Turn off and remove from heat.

<adding the cornbread>

  • Add the cornbread stuffing to the apple sausage mixture.

  • Beat together the chicken broth and eggs in a large bowl.

  • Pour and blend in the broth mixture into the dressing, until moistened.

<preparing the dressing>

  • Butter the sides of a large baking dish or spray with olive oil cooking spray.

  • Fill baking dish with the dressing, pat down lightly.

  • Butter the dull side of foil; cover the baking dish with buttered foil.

<baking the dressing>

  • Place the dressing in the oven.

  • Bake covered for 20 minutes, remove the foil.

  • Continue to bake and brown the top for another 20 minutes, or until the center reaches 165 degrees. (Another reason for a thermometer, not just the turkey.)

Enjoy!

Notes

  • Do not use any other apple, but granny smith for this recipe.

  • You can use any ground sausage you prefer. Some years I've used turkey, sometimes I've used pork, it just depends what the butcher has available.

  • We prefer a dry dressing. If you like yours moist (I dislike this word) but not wet (when you see a pool of broth at the bottom); then add another cup of broth, for a total of 4 cups of broth.

  • You can make this the night before, just cover and refrigerate. However, allow an extra 15 minutes in the oven or until the center reaches 165 degrees.

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