Sooooooooo…… first let me say that I apologize for the picture, it’s not the finished product. This was the “before” picture I posted on social media as a teaser, and I had planned on taking a pic of the stuffing after it came out of the oven for the blog. The only problem was that when it came out it looked so darn good, smelled so darn good, and we were all so hungry, that it was gone before I could even grab my phone.
Anyway, every year we head to my mother-in-law’s for Thanksgiving, and every year my wife’s family asks me to make the same two things… Bread, and old school green bean casserole. While I agreed to make the old standby’s again this year, I knew I wanted to bring something else as well. I came up with a ton of different ideas: homemade cranberry sauce, stuffed breads, roasted sweet potato skins (which I will be making soon, I have a great idea for them!), duck confit bruschetta… and then it hit me. Years and years ago a bunch of high school buddies and I used to descend upon my one friend’s parents house after we were all done with our respective Thanksgiving family visits, and raided their leftovers. One dish that I always looked forward to was his mom’s Sausage Stuffing made with homemade white bread. Not only was it absolutely delicious, but it always impressed me that she made bread for the sole purpose of making the stuffing.
Once that bit of nostalgia hit me, I knew I had to make it! Thanks for the idea Carlota… and I still miss your stuffing!!!
I’m not including the recipe for my homemade bread. People that are into baking bread already have their own go to, and let’s face it, for the people that aren’t already baking their own bread it’s because they don’t want to… lol. If you guys really want my recipe, just let me know and I’ll post it.
Serves: A very hungry family…
1 1/2lb Sweet Sausage (loose if available, otherwise use links and remove the casing)
2tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2c Madeira Wine or Cream Sherry
2 1/2c Chicken Stock
2tsp Ground Black Pepper
2tbsp Light Brown Sugar
1tbsp Chopped Fresh Sage Leaves (about 10-12 leaves)
3tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
6tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 Large Loaf of Homemade or Bakery White Bread, cubed into 1″ squares
Heat your oven to 375F.
Place the cubed bread on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. You want the outsides very lightly toasted, but the inside still soft. Set aside and allow to cool.
In a large pot heat the olive oil on high, then add small chunks of the sweet sausage. Cook until the outsides are browned. If you have any larger chunks of sausage simply break them into smaller pieces with your stirring spoon while cooking. Add the Madeira or Sherry and cook until reduced by half. Add the chicken stock, salt, pepper and brown sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring periodically. Add the chopped sage, thyme and butter and continue simmering for an additional 10 minutes, still stirring periodically.
Put the cubed bread in a large bowl and pour in the sausage and sauce. Toss until the bread is evenly coated, then transfer the mixture to a 9.5×13 baking dish and let sit for 10-15 minutes to let the bread soak up any extra sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 375F for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes to lightly toast the top.
That’s it, you’re done! Enjoy it while it lasts, because it won’t last long. Don’t count on seconds!!