Believe it or not, I have never made stuffing before. I know it’s a Thanksgiving stable along side the turkey, potatoes, and pumpkin pie. It was one of those foods from my childhood that I figured I did not like at all for whatever reason. As I am breaking down what I like and don’t like over the last couple years, it’s time to put stuffing under the microscope. I decided to try a recipe by Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa), mainly because it contains sausage, so how can you go wrong? Below you will find my notes from this recipe. Print the recipe on Food Network’s website.
1. If you are not using leftover homemade bread, make sure to find a store that sells day old bread for a discount and use that. Stale bread will be able to absorb more liquid that something fresh. I used a Vienna bread I found day old at a Meijer store.
2. Instead of Granny Smith, I used Northern Spy apples. I think they have a better flavor and still provide the tart punch. You could also use Honeycrisp. Make sure to pick something that hold it’s shape when cooked, you don’t want applesauce stuffing (at least I don’t)
3. The recipe calls for parsley, which is fine, but this is Thanksgiving and in my opinion the official herb of the holiday has got to be sage. There is something warm and comforting about eating sage in the fall. Plus it’s one of the few herbs remaining alive in my herb garden come November.
4. I saved some time by buying bulk Italian sausage instead of sausage already in a casing. Find a store with a good meat counter and you should be able to find sausage prepared just like ground beef. Not only did it save me time, but it was cheaper as well.
5. She recommends a 30 minute baking time and that is about what I did.
The stuffing (although really if it’s not in the bird, it’s called dressing) was a winner! My wife loves sausage stuffing, so she had no problem polishing it off. The apples and dried cranberries added a nice sweet/tart element to go along with the saltiness of the sausage and chicken broth. Would be even better with homemade turkey stock.