Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sausage and Bread Stuffing

 I am a total stuffing fanatic.  Almost half my plate is reserved for stuffing if it's present at the Thanksgiving or Christmas table.  My favorite stuffing in this world is mother's version!  She came up with this recipe over 25 years ago and my family loves it.  It's a pretty easy stuffing to make and it's even tasty cold. Yes... I do it... I can eat a forkful as I walk by the fridge the next day.  Now this is for a very large casserole size stuffing... so you can make it as for a large crowd or save it for lots of tasty leftovers.   I use this stuffing up in Meatloaf in my Thanksgiving Burgers .

2 pounds dried bread cubes (follow instructions below)
1lb hot Italian sausage
2 cups diced celery
2 cups diced onion
2-3 Tbs of fresh parsley minced
2-3 Tbs of fresh rosemary
2-3 Tbs of fresh thyme
2-3 Tbs of fresh sage
1-2 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
1 Tbs poultry seasoning
black pepper to taste
1-2 tsp granulated garlic
1 can condensed mushroom soup
2-4 cups chicken stock or as needed
6-7 boiled eggs chopped

How to dry bread cubes at home: 
Cut bread into small cubes. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in a 200 degree oven for 15 minutes. Check and add 10 more minutes if needed (do additional 5-10 minutes as needed).  Note:  All bread moisture is different. Day old bread works best.  You will have to keep an eye on bread to make sure it only lightly browns and does not burn. Once all bread is dried, turn oven off and leave bread in oven overnight to cool and dry further.  Always have your bread dried and prepared 1-2 days prior to making stuffing.  You can always substitute store bought dried bread made for stuffing if desired.

Brown sausage well.  note: I used good quality sausage that only produced 2 tablespoons of oil.  Drain excess oil if needed before proceeding. Then add onion and celery and saute with sausage.

Next add granulated garlic, black pepper, red chili flakes and poultry seasoning.  Finally add minced fresh herbs.

Next add can of condensed mushroom soup and 1 cup of chicken both. Add the dried bread and toss.  Moisten stuffing with additional stock a ladle at at time as needed for desired texture.  Finally add the chopped boiled egg and toss.

 Place in a greased casserole dish and bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees.  Serve hot.  Enjoy.

Note:  I crushed some butter crackers on top for a crispy crust. This is optional.

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