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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sausage Stuffing with Sage

The secret stuffing.  Sausage Stuffing with Sage, to be exact.  It's the recipe that has never been formally written down, and yet all of my sisters and I know the recipe by heart.  Some of us make this stuffing better (me) than others (them), but we won't get into that..LOL.  Homemade stuffing is easy to make and is much better than pouring dried crumbs out of a bag and soaking them with broth! (Dreadfully bad stuff.)

Everyone in my family remembers the early Thanksgiving mornings, with my parents getting everything ready for the day.  Dinner for a family of 8 was no easy task, and the number of guests grew each year as spouses and grandchildren were added to the gathering.  I think we topped out at almost 30 people one year, and that meant two things, we needed a BIG turkey and a LOT of stuffing! 

My Mom always prepared this stuffing so she had enough to stuff a 20-22 pound turkey and also have a 13 x 9-inch pan on the side, which is a lot of stuffing.  For this recipe I've cut the portion down to serve about 8 - 10 people, with a bit left over for the next day.  (The leftovers are even better!)  

This year, make your own homemade stuffing to share with your family and create your own Thanksgiving memories.  Those memories will last a lifetime.  Enjoy!!

2  Loaves of White, Wheat, Pumpernickel Bread, etc (day old bread works best)
1 stick  Butter
1 large  Onion, finely chopped
2 - 3 stalks  Celery, finely chopped
1 tsp  Salt
1 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1 TB  Dried Ground Sage
1 lb  Sage Sausage, browned and crumbled into small pieces
3  Large Eggs
Chicken Broth (optional-as needed)
1 can  Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and set aside.

Break the bread into 1-inch pieces and place in a large mixing bowl; set aside.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and celery and saute for 5 - 6 minutes or until softened.  Add salt, pepper, and sage to the skillet and stir to combine.  Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

Pour the mixture over the bread pieces, then add the cooked sausage and the eggs.  Blend the stuffing to fully combine all of the ingredients.  (You can use a spoon, but this step is much easier to do if you mix it with your hands.)  The texture of the stuffing at this point will be a little different depending on the type of bread you use.  If you are using a dense wheat or pumpernickel-type bread it will absorb more moisture than white breads, and there are two ways to add moisture to the stuffing.  If needed, add 1/4 cup of chicken broth to the stuffing and stir to combine.  (You want the stuffing to be moist but not soaked or watery.)  For more of a creamy texture, add a few tablespoons of cream of chicken soup, as needed, to moisten the stuffing.

Scoop the stuffing into the baking pan, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover the pan and cook for 15 - 20 minutes longer or until crispy and golden on top.  Enjoy!!

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