Today is Day 2 of “Thanksgiving Week” and I made stuffing!
When I was younger and I would go over my grandmothers for Thanksgiving, and the one side that I couldn’t stand was stuffing. I think it was a texture thing for me. Also the seasoning tasted like something from a package (now that I think about it, it probably was Stove Top). However, something magical happened around the age of 13 for me. Something so wonderful, so fantastic, so amazing, that it changed my life forever! I had homemade cornbread stuffing for the first time. My Aunt Valerie made it and I think I about 3 plates of it by itself. Now, anytime I know I am going to my Aunt Valerie’s house for the holidays I ask for it. Now, my Aunt Valerie lives in Atlanta and I am not as fortunate as I once was to enjoy her stuffing for the holiday. Therefore, I made my own! To be honest, I think my Herb Stuffing with Sausage recipe can compete with my dear ole Aunt Valerie.
The first time I made this stuffing, I kid you not, the entire pan was gone by the end of the meal. Now, my family asks me to make the stuffing each year. I think it has something to do with the seasonings, the sausage, and the dried cranberries that I put in for some sweetness. This stuff is not only delicious and tasty but it is “stupid easy”! If you decide to make this Herb Stuffing for your family this year you can get as creative as you want. Instead of using Italian Sausage you can use Andouille or another Pork Sausage; Instead of using dried cranberries, you can use diced apples or another comparable dried fruit; and instead of using chicken stock you can use beef broth or a different kind of stock. That is great thing about cooking, you can take a recipe and recreate it to be your own. Make this stuffing for your family and they will love you just as much as I love my Aunt Valerie!
- 14 oz. Bag of Herb Stuffing Bread Cubes
- 32 oz. chicken stock
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. Italian Sausage
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 c. dried cranberries
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. dried sage
- ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 3 tbsp. butter, softened
- 1 c. water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 Degrees
- In a large pan, add the olive oil to the pan on medium high heat. Add the onions and celery to the pan and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes and reduce heat so the garlic doesn't burn. In a separate skillet, add the Italian sausage and cook over medium high heat until thoroughly cooked.
- In a large bowl, pour in the stuffing bread cubes and pour the chicken stock over the stuffing and allow to sit for 10 minutes to allow the bread cubes to absorb the chicken stock. Add the sauteed vegetables, Italian sausage, and dried cranberries and mix until all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Add the butter and spices (dried sage, cayenne pepper, paprika, and salt and pepper) and stir once more.
- Pour the stuffing mixture into a casserole dish and pour the cup of water (or chicken stock if you have more) around the edges of the stuffing. Sprinkle the top with pepper and more paprika (if you would like). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden on the top.