Everyone has their favorite stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving, and this is one of mine. It's got not-too-sweet crumbles of cornbread, Italian sausage, and lots of fresh herbs – delicious!
This stuffing is delicious when cooked inside the bird, we like this simple, juicy roast turkey. If you plan to cook the stuffing separately, follow the instructions below, it can be cooked in the same oven or at the same temperature as your turkey.
Tip: For a stuffing with a bit of heat, use hot Italian sausage or even chorizo.
Yields 12 to 14 cups
3/4 lb. sweet Italian sausage (without casings), cut in small chunks
3 to 4 Tbs. rendered bacon fat or butter, if needed
2 cups chopped onion
1-1/2 cups finely chopped celery, including leaves
1-1/2 cups finely chopped bell pepper, preferably a mix of red and green
2 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 recipe Basic Cornbread, crumbled
1 cup chopped scallion
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
Freshly ground black pepper
Turkey stock or homemade or low-salt chicken broth as needed
In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add enough rendered bacon fat or butter to the pan to get about 5 Tbs. total fat. Add the onion, celery, peppers, garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes, and salt. Cook briefly until the onion is softened. With a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits in the pan. Combine in a large bowl with the crumbled cornbread, scallions, parsley, chives, and pepper. Toss to combine.
If cooking in a turkey, put the stuffing in the bird just before roasting. Pack the stuffing loosely, leaving enough room to fit your whole extended hand into the bird's cavity. Cook the stuffing in the bird to 160º to 165ºF, checking with an instant-read thermometer. If the bird is done before the stuffing is, take the bird out of the oven, spoon the stuffing into a casserole dish, and continue to bake it while the turkey rests. If baking some or all of the stuffing in a casserole, pour a cup or two of stock over the stuffing to replace the juices the stuffing would have absorbed from the bird. Bake it covered until heated through, 45 minutes to 1 hour. For a crunchy top, uncover it for the last 15 minutes of baking.
nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per 1/2 cup stuffing; Calories (kcal): 110; Fat (g): 6; Fat Calories (kcal): 50; Saturated Fat (g): 3; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2; Carbohydrates (g): 11; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 450; Cholesterol (mg): 20; Fiber (g): 1
Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine.