Five-Star Apple Sausage and Cranberry Stuffing

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Ingredients

  • 5½ cups cubed white European style or sourdough bread, see Notes for Gluten Free Options
  • 2½ cups cubed whole grain wheat bread, see Notes for Gluten Free Options
  • 1½ pounds ground pork sausage, such as Bob Evans® brand
  • 1½ cups chopped yellow onion
  • 1½ cups grated carrot (2 to 3 large carrots)
  • 1¼ cups chopped celery
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 large Golden Delicious apple, cored & coarsely chopped
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored
  • & coarsely chopped
  • 1¼ cups dried cranberries
  • ½ cup minced fresh parsley
  • ¾ cup Golden Tangerine Turkey Giblet Stock
  • ¾ cup fine-quality Chardonnay or dry white wine
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350º F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Bake the white or sourdough and whole wheat bread cubes in one layer on prepared baking sheets until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring halfway through baking time. Transfer toasted bread cubes to a bowl and let them cool.
In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium-high heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. Add the carrots, celery and herbs; cook for 2 minutes while stirring to blend flavors. Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl. Stir in chopped apples cranberries and parsley. Drizzle the stock, wine and melted butter over stuffing mixture; toss well. Allow stuffing to cool completely before stuffing turkey. Spoon loosely into turkey cavities to fill.


Mise en Place: Everything in place. All pre-measured, rinsed, dried and chopped. Pork sausage, yellow onion, carrot, celery, fresh sage, rosemary, thyme and parsley, 1 Golden Delicious apple and 1 Granny Smith apple, dried cranberries, Golden Tangerine Turkey Giblet Stock, Chardonnay and butter (not yet melted). Our bread cubes are nearby on a baking sheet.5-Star-Sausage-Apple-Cranberry-Stuffing-4

Bread cubes all ready to be toasted.5-Star-Sausage-Apple-Cranberry-Stuffing-5

Toasted bread cubes all golden brown and ready for stuffing!

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In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium-high heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. As you can see, I have just added the ground pork sausage to our heated large skillet. There is no need to add cooking oil as the pork sausage will render just enough fat for our recipe. Here, I am using one of my favorite kitchen tools, an angled wooden spatula that is beveled, which helps break up the ground meat. I like to do this before adding the onions so the meat and onions brown evenly in some of the already rendered fat.

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Next, I am adding our chopped yellow onions to the ground pork sausage which is just starting to brown.

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Next, I am about to stir in the chopped yellow onions. It is important to keep stirring as the ground pork browns and the onions become soft and translucent for even and thorough cooking.

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Add the carrots, celery and herbs; cook for 2 minutes while stirring to blend flavors. Now that our ground pork sausage has browned, and the onions are soft and translucent, it is time to add the grated carrots.

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Immediately following the addition of the carrots, I am adding the chopped celery.

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Everything is coming along as I stir the carrots and celery into the ground pork sausage and onions.

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As you can see, the ground pork sausage is completely browned and the vegetables are cooked just right. You definitely do not want to overcook the vegetables. Here, I am adding fresh sage leaves that I have run my knife through.

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Here, I am adding fresh rosemary leaves that I have rough chopped.

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Next in, fresh thyme leaves which have been pulled from the sprigs. You don’t need to chop these tiny leaves as they are already the perfect size for our stuffing recipe.

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Now, give the pork sausage mixture a good stir to evenly incorporate the herbs into the meat and vegetables.

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As you can see here, our pork sausage, vegetables and herb mixture is evenly combined. We are now ready for the next phase!

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Now, we are ready to chop our apples so that they are fresh when we add them to our stuffing recipe. We like to use 1 Golden Delicious apple and 1 Granny Smith apple. This way, we get the best of both worlds…a tender apple and a more tart, firm apple in our stuffing. Done. Chopped.

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Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl. As you can see, our gluten free toasted bread cubes or croutons are already in a large stainless steel bowl…just waiting for the addition of the pork sausage mixture.

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Here, I am stirring in the pork sausage mixture until it is evenly combined with our gluten free toasted bread cubes or croutons.

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Stir in chopped apples cranberries and parsley. Here, I am adding the chopped apples.

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Next in, the dried cranberries. Is it just me, don’t they look like gorgeous ruby-red jewels? Turkey stuffing is just not its best without the addition of dried cranberries!

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Here, I am adding plenty of minced fresh parsley for an incomparable fresh taste!

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Now it is time to stir in the chopped apples, dried cranberries and minced fresh parsley until evenly combined.

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Stir…

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And, stir…until well combined. I like to use my large slotted spoon for this task. It makes it so much easier!

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Drizzle the stock, wine and melted butter over stuffing mixture; toss well to coat. As you can see, I am drizzling our Golden Tangerine Turkey Giblet Stock over our stuffing mixture. The stuffing is looking gorgeous!

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And, now…for the buttah! Yes, this is what makes all of the flavors come through for our Five-Star Sausage Apple and Cranberry Stuffing…using plenty of real butter. YUM!

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Now, give this glorious stuffing mixture a good stir and toss to evenly combine and coat the ingredients with the stock, wine and butter. Go ahead, take a chef’s bite and taste the food you are preparing. I am telling you…this stuffing is spectacular and fit for kings!

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Gorgeous. Just beautiful. Look at all that flavah!

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For baking outside of the bird, generously butter your casserole dish. It should look just like this.

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To bake stuffing separately outside the bird, bake in a generously buttered casserole dish in a preheated 350ºF oven for 30 to 40 minutes, covered. Here, we have added a portion of the stuffing to the buttered casserole dish and the remaining stuffing will be baked inside our roasting turkey. Remove the casserole from the oven and remove the lid. Drizzle desired amount of butter over the top. (Two tablespoons will do.) Return to oven and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes for a crisp, golden brown top.
We strongly believe in cooking a portion of our stuffing inside the bird for unparalleled flavor and texture. Just be sure that your fresh turkey is at room temperature, as well as your stuffing, before stuffing the cavity of the bird. If cooking stuffing inside the bird, after roasting, be sure that the temperature of the cooked stuffing reaches at least 165ºF by using an instant read thermometer.
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Simply stunning! After the bird has roasted and rested just a bit, we remove the very moist stuffing baked in the cavity and then mix it into the batch that we baked in a covered casserole. Here you can see the finished product, our Five-Star Apple Sausage and Cranberry Stuffing in all her glory! Pat yourself on the back for a cheffy job well done. Now, go carve that turkey and enjoy your holiday feast!