Apple Sausage Stuffing
Makes 8 to 10 servings
The sage, thyme, leeks and sausage in this stuffing serve as savory foils to the slightly sweet gravy. The stuffing can be prepared up to a day ahead, but don’t place it inside the bird until ready to roast. Bring the stuffing to room temperature (for an hour) before stuffing the turkey.
1 1/2 pounds firm, dried white bread (such as Italian country bread)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and light-green parts from about 4 leeks)
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped dried apple (or substitute golden raisins)
2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
2 large eggs, beaten
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes to make about 15 cups. Spread bread cubes on 2 large baking sheets and bake until almost dry, about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
3. While bread cools, heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks, sausage and celery, then sauté, stirring frequently and breaking up sausage. Cook 15 minutes or until sausage is done and leeks and celery are soft.
4. Add apple, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir to mix. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Add bread and toss to mix.
5. Before adding raw eggs, taste the stuffing, adding more salt, pepper or herbs if desired. (Can be prepared up to a day ahead to this point.) Cover and refrigerate.
6. When ready to use the stuffing, add beaten eggs and toss to mix.