Friday, November 30, 2012

John's Thanksgiving Dressing - November 30, 2012

Well, I had to focus on the turkey and carcass last week as it is the true center of the Thanksgiving holiday, but many others are much more focused on the carbs.  One holiday carb that requires leftovers is dressing.  There are many types of dressing from cornbread to oyster to rice.  But, for the past several years, my husband John has focused on a rich sweet and savory sourdough dressing that requires day old sourdough bread.  This dressing which originally came from Bon Appetit with a few tweeks from the Harris’ is so complex in flavors and ingredients that you could eat it as a meal, but my husband informs me that the strength of dressing is its ability to take turkey and gravy to another level.  I'll let you decide about that.

If you are considering making this dressing, you'll need to set aside a bit of time or recruit a few willing family members.  It requires a great deal of slicing.

Sourdough Dressing with Sausage, Apples and Golden Raisins

1 1/2-pound loaf sourdough bread, crusts removed, bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 pounds bulk chorizo sausage (we have a local farmer that produces this, but you want spicy sausage)
2 large onions, chopped
5 stalks finely chopped celery (if you must)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
6 cups peeled and finely chopped Granny Smith apples
3/4 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
3 large eggs

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°.  Spread bread cubes in single layer on baking sheet and bake until golden, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer bread to very large bowl.

Sauté sausage in heavy skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking up into small pieces with fork, 8 to 10 minutes.  Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to bowl with bread cubes.  Add onions and celery to drippings and sauté until golden brown, about 12 minutes.  Transfer to bowl with bread-sausage mixture (do not clean skillet).

Melt 2 T. butter in same skillet over medium-high heat.  Add apples and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.  Add to bowl with bread mixture and mix in raisins.

Melt remaining 2 T. butter in same skillet over low heat.  Add 2 T. sage and stir 30 seconds.  Add sage butter to bowl with bread-sausage mixture and toss to blend.   Season stuffing with salt and black pepper.  This can be done ahead and kept covered in refrigerator over night.

Generously butter 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish (ours actually took two).  Whisk broth and eggs in medium bowl and add to stuffing, tossing to mix.  Transfer to prepared baking dishes).  Bake stuffing uncovered until top is golden and crisp in spots, 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Let stand 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

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