Thanksgiving is almost here which means we are all planning what we are going to prep and cook for the big day. I got to prepare my favorite stuffing recipe a couple days ago for our Friendsgiving and let me just tell you, it was so satisfying and flavorful. I can’t wait to make this recipe again on Thanksgiving day!
One thing that is so great about this recipe is that it can be made days in advance. If you are preparing this recipe 3-4 days in advance, cover and seal tightly with foil and put it in the freezer. Transfer from freezer to refrigerator one day prior to cooking. If you are making this one day in advance, simply cover and chill in the fridge.
Each component of this dish will bring something amazingly unique to your palate. The sweetness from the fennel, spiciness from the italian sausage, eggy-ness from the brioche, and fresh aromatics from the rosemary and thyme all mingle together to enhance your Thanksgiving experience with one simple recipe.
For this recipe you will need:
3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 cups brioche bread, cut into 1/2″ cubes
4 cups coarsely torn sourdough bread, preferably dried overnight
1/3 cup unsalted pistachios
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 links hot italian sausage, casings removed
1 large yellow onion, small dice
4 celery stalks, small dice
1 fennel bulb, small dice
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 cups turkey or chicken stock
*For a vegetarian version of this recipe, omit the italian sausage and substitute vegetable stock for turkey/chicken stock.*
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a shallow 3 quart baking dish. Set aside.
Place the brioche, sourdough bread pieces, and pistachios in a large bowl. Using a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage- breaking up with a wooden spoon- and cook until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to the bread bowl. Next, add the onion, celery, and fennel to the hot sauté pan. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 10-12 minutes, and then add to the bread bowl.
Add the wine to the hot skillet, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan while the wine reduces by half. Once reduced, add the chicken stock, maple syrup, and 1/2 cup butter. Cook until the butter melts. Pour this mixture over the bread. Toss all of the ingredients together until the bread has absorbed the liquid and is hydrated. If it appears to be dry, simply add 1/4 cup chicken stock at a time. *You want the egg in the brioche bread to become spongy and actually represent egg pieces.*
Taste the stuffing, adding a pinch or two of salt and pepper if needed. Transfer the bread mixture to the prepared, buttered baking dish. Cover with a buttered piece of foil and bake until a pairing knife inserted in the center comes out clean and hot, about 30 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F and bake with foil removed until the top is golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. If you need extra browning, turn on the broiler and broil for about 3-5 minutes, with your eyes closely watching! The broiling process can go from good to bad very very quickly. You don’t want to burn your masterpiece.
Allow the stuffing to sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with roughly chopped pistachios.
So easy and so delicious. Happy Thanksgiving!