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Country-Style Stuffing with Sausage, Fennel and Spiced Pepitas

PSA: Thanksgiving is almost here so it’s time to think about your menu!

I feel like everyone is skipping over Thanksgiving and going right into Christmas. Everywhere I look, Christmas decor is already out and trees are being trimmed left and right. Believe me, if anyone loves Christmas, it’s me. I’m actually OBSESSED with the Christmas holiday and everything it represents: the birth of Jesus, family time, delicious smells, colorful lights, good food… I could go on and on. However, we cannot forget about Thanksgiving as it is also a significant holiday.

Thanksgiving is less than one week away so it’s time to put together a menu. I realize this year’s holiday season won’t feel the same as it normally does due to the ongoing pandemic, but that shouldn’t mean we still can’t cook and eat a delicious meal. Am I right?

I love this country-style stuffing recipe because it has the perfect balance of savory, sweet and spicy. I prepare this stuffing recipe every year and always receive so many compliments. I highly recommend preparing a batch to enjoy on Thanksgiving Day.

Country-Style Stuffing with Sausage, Fennel and Pistachio

A delicious and simple stuffing recipe the entire family will love!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 10 people

Equipment

  • 9×12" Baking Dish
  • Saute Pan
  • Cutting Board & Chef Knife

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 sticks Unsalted Butter
  • 6 cups Brioche Bread cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 4 cups Sourdough Bread cut inot 1/2" cubes
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 links Hot Italian Sausage
  • 1 large Yellow Onion small dice
  • 1 Fennel Bulb small dice
  • 4 stalks Celery small dice
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh Thyme chopped
  • 1/2 cup Dry White Wine
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
  • Kosher Salt & Fresh Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Pepitas
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • Sprinkle of kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a shallow 3 quart baking dish. Set aside.
  • Place the brioche and sourdough bread pieces 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.
  • 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.
  • Allow the stuffing to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with spiced pepitas and dig in!

Spiced Pepitas

  • Preheat oven to 325.
  • Toss the pepitas with olive oil, chili powder, onion powder and a sprinkle of salt.
  • Bake in the oven for 3-5 minutes. *Be sure not to over-bake as they burn qucikly!*

Notes

*For a vegetarian version of this recipe, omit the Italian sausage and substitute turkey/chicken stock for vegetable stock.*
*For a nut-free version, omit the pepitas.* 
Pistachios also works well in place of pepitas 
Keyword Thanksgiving

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