Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. Every year I always make my dad’s famous stuffing. I remember working in the kitchen with my dad when I was younger helping him with this recipe. I used to always make the cranberry heart on the top of the dish and it is so special to now share the same tradition with my kids. Molly helps me make this and I hope that she will remember these special times with me, like I do with my dad. Every year that I make it, I have such wonderful memories of my childhood and family. Really, that is what this holiday is all about. It is about giving, being thankful and spending quality time with family. I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:
- 1 tube of sage or spicy sausage
- 1 bunch celery chopped
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 shallot chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic chopped
- 2 boxes of cubed stuffing mix
- 40 oz. of chicken stock – low sodium (give or take depending if you like your stuffing moist or a little dryer)
- 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary (to taste)
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme (to taste)
- 5 sprigs of sage (to taste)
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 cup of fresh cranberries
- 1 package of fresh mushrooms, chopped (optional)
- 1 cup of walnuts or pecans (whichever you prefer)
- 1/2 cup of raisins
Preheat oven to 325°.
Sauté celery, onion, garlic, chestnuts, and fresh herbs in 2 sticks of butter until softened. Note that chestnuts may not become entirely soft.
In a separate large skillet, cook the sausage until brown. Leave the “fat” in the pan with the sausage.
Add sautéed vegetables and herbs to the pan with the sausage. Mix well on low heat.
Add a bit of chicken stock and mix while simmering.
Add the cranberries and raisings. Let simmer until the cranberries begin to “pop.” This will allow them to soften a bit.
In a large mixing bowl, add 1 box of stuffing and slowly add the mixture of sausage and vegetables. Add the other box of stuffing. You may add chicken stock to the bowl to keep stuffing moist, but not mushy. Mix well.
Let stand for 10 minutes and then place in a large baking dish.
Garnish with fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs to create my signature heart on top.
Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight or place directly into the oven. Bake 30 minutes or until bread is browning on top.
*For those with food allergies, omit the nuts and use gluten free bread crumbs – yum!
Enjoy with family and friends, while watching them “gobble, gobble it down!”