You can adapt and add what as you see fit– chestnuts, chestnut puree, garlic, fresh sage, paprika. You can use milk or broth (or a combination, I suppose). I like the milk as it produces a denser texture. Be mindful not to make it too salty if you use broth. Another wonderful addition is the finely chopped up turkey liver that should come inside the raw bird. Add it into the pan once the onions and celery are cooking. It adds a wonderful richness, but doesn’t taste strongly at all of liver.
- 1 medium to large loaf of crusty sourdough bread, or crusty bread of choice
- 1 lb.sweet Italian sausage, or uncooked sausage of choice
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 3 stalkscelery, diced
- 1-2 (or more) cups of milk or broth
- butter, oil, salt, pepper, as needed.any add-ins you’d like (see excerpt above)
- finely chopped turkey liver (very, very optional)
If you remember the night before, tear up the bread into chunks and set out to get stale. If you don’t remember (and I so seldom do), tear the bread into chunks and put in your oven (presumably on the rack next to the roasting turkey) for about 5-10 minutes to dry out and get toasty. Since everything is cooked before it goes into the oven, its baking isn’t crucial to its doneness. I bake my turkey at 350 which is a great temperature to brown the top of the stuffing and heat it through. Whatever temperature your oven is at will work fine, just be mindful– a higher oven will require less time and a lower, longer.
At last, just set your oven to heat at 350 if there is not something cooking in it already. Remove the sausage meat from the casing by squeezing it out– some people find this very enjoyable. (Also, hey, you can buy ‘sausage meat’ in many grocery stores near the meat section if you’d like to skip a step.) Add a little oil to a large skillet on medium-high heat and toss in the de-frocked sausage meat. Stir the meat around with a spatula and break up any large pieces. You should be left with a skillet of sizzling smallish sausage bits.While the meat is frying (but still keeping an eye on it) dice your onions and celery. Cut the celery in half length-wise. Cut each side in half again length-wise. Collect these four celery quarters into a bunch and cut horizontally– thus, dicing them. The smaller the dice the better.
Once the sausage is done, use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove the meat from the skillet, reserving it in a bowl off to the side for a minute, leaving the brown bits and glaze at the bottom. Add a little more oil or butter, if necessary, and add in the celery and onions (add a little salt, too) and cook them until translucent. Add the turkey liver (if using) or any other add-ins like chestnuts to the pan along with the rest of the sausage and let it cook on the stove just a few minutes longer.Put the stale or toasted bread into a large bowl. Pour a cup of milk or broth over top (fridge cold is fine) and smoosh it all together with your hands (check out this article for more information). Break up any large pieces, but leave a few chunks for texture.Add in the sausage, onion, and celery mixture and combine with a spatula this time (it is hot, after all).
Line a casserole dish with parchment paper and pour in the stuffing. Press it down a bit to make it dense and smooth over the top.Bake in the oven for about an half hour. This also depends on your casserole dish– a large rectangle will cook faster whereas a squat square will take a little longer to heat through. Regardless, it is done with the top is browned, crisp, and crackling. Serve warm with a dollop of cranberry sauce or a splosh of gravy.Join the discussion and see more photos from this recipe!Join the discussion and see more photos from this recipe!