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Sausage Stuffing with Chicken and Apples

chicken-apple-sausage-stuffing-300x2011If I may say so myself, this sausage stuffing recipe is just perfect.

It’s not too fussy, but not overly simple either. It’s got surprisingly refined flavor, but is rustic. And it’s got two secret weapons: dried apples (used over fresh) and pecorino cheese. These unexpected ingredients give this Chicken Apple Sausage Stuffing perfect texture and, dare I say, perfectly balanced flavor.

You’ll notice that unlike many stuffing recipes, this one is low on the herbs. Don’t worry (and don’t throw extra in, convinced that I made an error leaving them out)! The apple flavor really shines and finishing with fresh sage gives a stronger herb essence than you’d expect given the relatively small amount. It works out, I promise!

The reviews on this were rave. (And not just from my immediate family!) It’s done. A new tradition. Perfect Chicken Apple Sausage Stuffing every year. Make it your tradition, too!

Perfect Chicken Apple Sausage Stuffing

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c chopped leeks
1 c chopped celery
1 1/2 c chopped carrot
1 Tbsp minced garlic (about 3 lg cloves)
12 oz chicken apple sausage
1 c chopped dried apple
1 tsp salt, and more to taste
black pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
6 c cubed stale bread (use the best load you can buy; I like sourdough)
4 c broth (plus more as neccessary)
1/4 c grated pecorino
2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage

1. Heat oil and butter over medium high heat in a large dutch oven. Add onion, leeks, celery, carrots and garlic. Saute until vegetables get soft and are translucent. Push vegetables to the sides, creating a well in the center of the dutch oven.

2. Add sausage to the well. Cook for 5 minutes, then stir, combining the sausage and vegetables. Add dried apple, teaspoon of salt, pepper and nutmeg. Continue sauteing until sausage and vegetables are cooked through and begin to caramelize.

3. Heat broth over medium fire. In the meantime, remove the sausage mixture from heat. If your dutch oven is large enough, add stale bread cubes to the pot. Otherwise, transfer sausage mixture to a bowl big enough to combine it with the stale bread cubes.

4. Pour hot broth over bread/sausage mixture. Stir in pecorino and sage. Adjust seasoning and liquid, if necessary, to taste.

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