You can’t have a holiday party, may it be Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s without Stuffing! The perfect stuffing for me has to have a little crunch (pecans), a little sweet (corn bread), a little fruit (apples, I sometimes use dried cranberries), and a whole lota rich and savory (sausage, fennel, onions, wine, etc).
I usually exclusively use cornbread when making stuffing, but this time I decided to kick things up a notch by adding garlic ciabatta bread and an everything spice topped Italian loaf. Lets just say it was a fantastic decision.
Other ingredients that I switched things up with was the fruit element, I used apples instead of cranberries and the sausage, breakfast in place of spicy Italian. The ingredient list is long but I promise its totally worth it!
One thing to note! The pictures used were from tripling this recipe to make enough stuffing for 30+ people. So disregard the portions in the pictures. The recipe that follows has approx. 8 servings.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
First things first! Toast the bread! I tried to keep everybody the same size.
Now for the meat. Make sure to remove the casing and break apart while it browns in the pan.
Once cooked, set it aside until you’re ready to mix everything together.
Save any left over fat from the sausage to cook the veggies in for extra flavor!
Add, the garlic, sage, thyme and apples once the veggies are soft.
Don’t forget your salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
A little wine never hurt nobody! Cook till the wine has almost completely evaporated.
Transfer to a bowl and mix in the parsley.
Beat the eggs and add the broth/stock to it.
Now add everything else! Starting with the pecans, meat, and bread, followed by slowing adding the egg stock mixture, one cup at a time. You have to be as gentle as you can in order to avoid everything turning into mush. Transfer to a buttered pan.
Now for the brown butter topping! Melt butter on low until nice and golden brown.
Pour the browned butter all over the top followed by a couple dots of butter. Pop him in the oven at 400 for about 50-60 minutes until golden brown.
I was in a hurry to get to the party that I made this stuffing for so I didn’t take a pic until I got there. As you can tell the lighting and focus was terrible so you don’t get to see my baby’s true beauty. Ah well!
Multiple Bread, Fennel, Apple, Sausage Stuffing
- 3 cups ½” cubes prepared cornbread
- 3 cups ½” cubes Ciabatta loaf
- 3 cups ½” cubes Italian loaf
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 pound breakfast sausage (casings removed)
- 1 small fennel bulb, chopped, plus fronds for serving
- 1 medium onion chopped (white, spanish or yellow, doesn’t really matter)
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large golden delicious apple, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped sage
- 1 tbsp chopped thyme
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 2½ cups chicken stock or broth
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ tsp Red pepper flakes
- Salt and Black Pepper
- 1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 300°. Divide cornbread, ciabatta and italian loaf between 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Bake, tossing occasionally, until beginning to brown and feels dried out, about 30–40 minutes.
While the bread dries out, cook the sausage. Place sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, crumbling with a spoon. Cook for 7–10 minutes until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a small bowl.
Reduce heat to medium and add 4 Tbsp. butter to the same skillet. Add fennel, celery and onions. Cook until veggies are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add apples, garlic, sage, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and black pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and add wine, cook, stirring occasionally, until wine is almost completely evaporated, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and mix in parsley.
Increase oven temperature to 400°. Beat eggs and add broth/stock. Combine sausage, veggie mixture, pecans and bread. Slowly incorporate egg broth mixture, 1 cup at a time. Season with salt and pepper. Bread should be moist, not soggy so mix gently. Let sit 10 minutes.
While the stuffing sits, add 3 Tbsp. butter to small skillet over medium heat until bubbly and brown. About 5-10 mins. Transfer stuffing mixture to a prepared baking dish and pour browned butter all over the top followed by dotting with remaining 1 Tbsp. butter.
Cover stuffing with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until golden and crisp on top, 20–30 minutes longer.
Top with fennel fronds and serve!