Apple and sausage stuffing
My mother made apple and sausage stuffing when I was younger. I found a sausage and sage stuffing that I would like to make - it doesn't include apples, but I would like to include Them. What type of apple do I use? How many apples( recipe calls for 2lbs of bread and says it feeds 10 - 12)? Do I peel the apples? Do I cook the apples with the celery and onion or just add it when I mix everything together? Thank you.
I toss apples into stuffing all the time. I like a tart/sweet apple, and I do peel because I don't like the sharp edges and texture of bits of peel in my stuffing, and I do saute them briefly with the celery and onions (in the sausage grease, of course), but just briefly, to give them a headstart. Just add an extra cup or so of stuffing cubes and a bit more broth or butter to offset the extra ingredients.
Old thread, I know, but stuffing season is almost upon us so I thought I'd share my pseudo-recipe. It's a pseudo recipe because I started out learning to make from my Mother (who learned it from her Mother), and we never really measured anything. I've been making this or helping make it for 35 years. I was a good young helper to my Mom. My first job was tio mix it with my hands. Below are approximations, so they're not exact. The beauty is that it's very forgiving recipe.
1-1/2 bags unseasoned bread cubes.
1-1/2 tubes of Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage. You can use the sage in a pinch, but I prefer the regular sausage. Do not use hot.
2 large granny smith apples peeled, cored, and diced small, not fine, perhaps more towards the medium. Or any other tart apple. Sweet apples don't wok in this recipe.
2 -3 stalks of celery, diced. Try to get celery that has leaves, also try to use the inner stalk if the celery is a bit tough on the outer stalks. The leaves add a something, something that's tasty.
1 to 1-1/2 cups of steel cut oats
1 large yellow onion, diced.
Sage (dried) and Bell's Poultry Seasoning to taste. I use A LOT of this, but it's a personal preference
Mix this up in a large bowl; hands works best. Now smell the stuffing. I know, odd, but it's been the only way I've been able to determine if it's right. It should be oniony, appley, a bit sausagey, with a lot of yummy sage and poultry seasoning smell to it. The steel cut oats add a certain nutty quality to it, and give it a great texture, so that it doesn't become too mushy. I have tried using fresh sage (and I do use it in other recipes), but it's not as good.
Stuff the turkey and immediately put it into the oven. The rest of the stuffing should go into a baking dish, and covered with broth and aluminum foil and put into a 350 oven. You can also make all of the stuffing this way. This will serve 8 with leftovers. I have to make sure there leftovers because every loves this stuffing. My Boyfriends family was delighted to hear that I would a) be cooking dinner at his Mom's, and b) I'd be making my stuffing again. They were a bit wary last year until they tasted it. Grandma has been talking about it all year, and wants me to double my recipe. So you could say it's popular :)
Apple-sausage -sage stuffing is my standard for Thanksgiving. :)
I usually cook the sausage first (just standard bulk pork breakfast sausage) and then saute the onion, celery and sage (fresh leaves) in the rendered sausage fat. Then I toss in the peeled, chopped apple- usually 2 - 3 Granny Smiths or, if I have them, Northern Spies - and saute them for a minute or so, basically just to coat them and mix it all together.
Then, I take it off the heat and mix that with the dried bread cubes, toss in some chopped walnuts for a nice contrasting crunch.
I moisten it with some apple cider and add some s&p, then taste and add more sage if needed. I like both fresh sage leaves and dried at this point.
Then I stuff it into a large bag or container, let it sit in the fridge overnight, adding more cider if it gets dry.
I usually cook it on the side instead of stuffing the bird. I'll put aromatics in the bird, like some onion, garlic, apples and herbs, though.
Boy, I am craving a nice turkey dinner now!
As I noted last year, I also really like making an apple sausage stuffing... Bell's seasoning is a must to give it that special flavor...
I noticed no one has mentioned adding a couple beaten eggs into their stuffing mixture. I find it helps bind it. To those who don't use eggs... I assume you use broth/water only for moistening? It holds it together?
How many eggs do you add? My dad always made a stuffing that used eggs and was cooked inside the bird. I'm hosting this year and I'm planning to make an apple-sausage bread stuffing. The recipe I have doesn't use any eggs, though I was thinking of adding some (for the very reasons you mention).
I use one egg when making stuffing for a 6-8 pound chicken, and use that as a baseline, adjusting up according to the size of the turkey. I always make extra and bake that. I like to sautee the diced liver and include that in the stuffing (the rest of the giblets and neck are for the gravy). I moisten it with apple cider and/or chicken broth, stuff the bird, then add more liquid to the remainder that will be baked. (To me, that's the diff between stuffing and dressing, the latter baked outside the bird.) Not only does the mixture hold together better when egg is included, but I think it has a richer taste that way. I don't usually put sausage in the stuffing/dressing. When I do, it's maple breakfast sausage. But I always add peeled, diced apple (not a VERY firm variety) after mixing in the cubed bread and egg - and sometimes golden raisins too. If I am out of cider and have applesauce, I'll use that.
I usually add two beaten eggs to the stuffing mixture.
First I tear up the stuffing bread in a large bowl (or you can use stuffing crumbs, Pepperidge Farm makes good ones), then I add sauteed Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage, apple, celery and melted butter and spices. But it's important that the sausage/veggie mixture cools before adding the beaten eggs or else the eggs will scramble and we don't want that. Then add some broth and then the eggs and then as much more broth as necessary to get it to the right soft but not soggy consistency. Whatever fits in the bird goes in the bird, the rest I refrigerate until the turkey is done and then bake it separately as the turkey rests. I combine both stuffings before serving.