Sausage, Apple & Pecan Stuffing

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First, let me just say that stuffing might be my favorite part of Thanksgiving- that and cranberry sauce. I could probably eat stuffing and cranberry relish alone for dinner for a month and be happy- I would also be very fat. Second, let me say that stuffing is NOT a very pretty item to photograph. Its down right gross looking and I’m sorry. But I promise this recipe for stuffing is not gross and will become your favorite, guaranteed! I have made this dish two years in a row for our annual Friendsgiving and I always get so many complements on it! The combination of the maple breakfast sausage, the crisp apples and crunchy nuts make it super delish! If you have guests with nut allergies no worries- the recipe is equally as delicious with out the nuts! Happy cooking!

Sausage, Apple & Pecan Stuffing (serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

  • 1 12oz bag of Pepperidge Farm Cubed Herb Stuffing Mix
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 12oz package maple breakfast sausage, casing removed
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large granny smith or fuji apple pealed and cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Directions:
  1. Remove sausage from its casing and cook in a medium skillet, using a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces, set aside. Grease a 9×11 baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and celery, and cook 5 minutes. Add sage, thyme and parsley and cook another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Add dry stuffing, sausage, Parmesan, apple and chopped pecans and mix lightly to combined. Add chicken broth and mix again being careful not to over mix or make the stuffing soggy.
  4. Spread stuffing into greased baking dish cover with foil until you are ready to heat and serve. Before serving bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until heated all the way through.

Cabernet Cranberry-Kumquat Sauce

photo-447Happy Thanksgiving Week! Its Monday but technically its Wednesday since its a 3 day work week! Bonus! This weekend I did some Thanksgiving prep by making cranberry sauce and getting some grocery shopping done. We also had a Friendsgiving feast on Saturday night. It was a non-traditional potluck style Thanksgiving with ham and beef tenderloin in place of turkey but with all the traditional sides and fixing!

Everyone brought their A game with favorite family recipes and cocktails including multiple varieties of sweet potato dishes, scalloped and classic potatoes, Brussels sprouts, squash gratin, mac & cheese, cranberry sauce and stuffing- it was quite a spread and everything was delicious! photo-449We had a big crew, 32 people to be exact! It was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season with great friends and food! For our friendsgiving feast I made sausage, apple and pecan stuffing and Cabernet Cranberry Kumquat Sauce. I used Pepperidge farm herb stuffing mix as a base and added maple breakfast sausage, crisp apples and crunchy pecans for a delicious salty-sweet mix. The Cabernet Cranberry-Kumquat Sauce is a great recipe to make a few days ahead and is a fun flavorful twist on your classic cranberry sauce. The tartness of the kumquats and the rich sweetness of the wine combine to make the perfect side that will please all your guests!

Cabernet Cranberry-Kumquat Sauce

  • 2½ cups fresh (or frozen, thawed) cranberries (one 8-oz. bag)
  • 1 cup dry red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup seeded sliced fresh kumquats

Directions:

  1. Wash cranberries and pick through them, discarding any that are bruised or rotten.
  2. Combine cranberries, wine, sugar and kumquats in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, until cranberries burst and release juices, 15–20 minutes. Let cool.

DO AHEAD: Sauce can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Cabernet Cranberry-Kumquat Sauce from Bon Appetit, November 2013