- 1 (9- by 13-inch) pan of cornbread (make your own or buy premade in the PCC Deli)
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 2 cups chopped Pink Lady or Granny Smith apples
- 1 tablespoon each chopped fresh sage, thyme and rosemary
- 1/4 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup fresh apple cider
- 1 1/2 cups chicken or turkey stock (see note)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 325° F.
Cut cornbread into 3/4-inch cubes and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast cubes in the oven for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, brown sausage in a large skillet set over medium heat. Remove cooked sausage and drain half the fat from the pan. Place pan back on the heat and add butter. Sauté onions, celery, apples and herbs in melted butter until vegetables are tender, 7 to 10 minutes.
Stir in cooked sausage and cranberries. Pour in cider and stock. Bring to a simmer and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
Place cornbread cubes in a large bowl and pour in sautéed vegetables. Toss very gently to allow cornbread to absorb stock. If stuffing is a little dry for your taste, slowly add more stock.
Bake in a casserole dish for 35 minutes at 350° F.
I often make a big batch of turkey stock well before Thanksgiving and freeze it. Buy a bunch of turkey legs and/or parts; chop them up and simmer in water seasoned with onions, celery, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Strain the liquid and freeze it in jars until you need it for your stuffing and gravy.
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