Monday, December 12, 2011

Sausage and Sage Stuffing with Dried Cranberries and Toasted Hazelnuts

Another dish Maggie made (and she and my brother, Allen, documented) for our Pre-Thanksgiving meal was a fabulous twist on your basic stuffing.  It was so wonderfully filled with all your favorite fall flavors that I could have this any day not just around Thanksgiving.  Try this for your next family meal and I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

Sausage and Sage Stuffing with Dried Cranberries and Toasted Hazelnuts
as adapted from

2¼ – 2½ cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¾ lb sweet Italian sausage, cut into bite sized pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 ½ tablespoons sage, minced
3 tablespoons chives, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons thyme, minced
2 sourdough baguettes (completely stale), cut into 1 inch cubes
2/3 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F.  Pour broth into a small saucepan and simmer over low heat. Cover and set aside.  Pour oil in a sauté pan and place over medium high heat.  Add sausage to pan and brown for 4 to 5 minutes.  Remove sausage from pan and place in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.  Drain fat from pan. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the pan and sauté onions and carrots for 3 minutes.  
Add sage, chives and thyme and sauté for another 3 minutes. 
Season with salt and pepper.  Pour onion mixture over browned sausage and gently toss together.  
Add baguette cubes, dried cranberries and hazelnuts to the bowl and fold together.  
Pour hot broth over bread mixture and stir together until fully incorporated and well combined.  Generously grease a baking dish with 2 tablespoons of butter and fill with the stuffing mixture.  Cover with foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and uncover. Dot the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and place back in the oven for 15 minutes, uncovered.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 1 9”x 12” baking dish
It was the PERFECT addition to our Pre-Thanksgiving feast!!!
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