Over the years I have toyed with stuffing, and come close to omitting it completely! My family really doesn't like it, but seriously.. I LOVE stuffing. So It seems every year I am trying a different one. Every year I love it, and well .. lets just say they don't. It doesn't keep me from trying though.
I don't stuff my bird, I like my stuffing to stand alone. In the beginning I would make my stuffing like my granny. I would use beer and bread crumbs, half a bottle of poultry seasoning, some celery and whatnot and walla! Granny's stuffing.
I toyed with Nigella Lawsons gingerbread stuffing which I love, but execution in my kitchen was lacking, I tried the oyster and rice dressing, cornbread dressing.. Paula Deen's stuffing. Nothing, nothing was changing my family into converts.
Until last year. Last year was the year that I figured it out! After a week of trial I think I have come up with the perfect Stuffing recipe.
Sausage Cranberry and Apple Stuffing
1lb breakfast sausage
4 Tbls butter
3 cups sliced leeks
2 Granny Smith Apples (peeled and chopped)
1 cup celery chopped
2 Tbls poultry seasoning
1 cup dried cranberries
6 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2-3 cups chicken stock
1 dark beer (optional)
1 Tbls salt
2 tsp black pepper
*What makes this recipe awesome is for the breadcrumbs, I use 2 loaves of Garlic Loaf from Kroger. Its not garlic bread, but an actual garlic loaf from the bakery. I have used a Sourdough loaf, I have used real french bread. Its yummy. The Preperage Farms bread crumbs are great, but you get more UMF if you make your own bread crumbs.*
Preheat oven to 375 Degrees
Cook Sausage in a heavy skillet over medium, making sure to break it all up. With a large slotted spoon, Transfer to large bowl with drippings. In same skillet cook butter, add leeks, apples and celery and poultry seasoning. Cook until leeks are soft. Mix in cranberries. Add to sausage. Then mix in bread and parsley. Add the beer and chicken stock until moist, not smooshy! Cook for 30 min.
It really is just that easy!