My favorite addition to stuffing is chopped apples. They add a sweetness and extra crunch to the stuffing that I just love. I also use chicken Italian sausage instead of regular pork sausage to lighten things up a bit. If you prefer to use sage sausage (like my man does), simply reduce the amount of sage to 1/2 tsp.
Give this stuffing recipe a try for your Thanksgiving dinner. Your family will love it!
Apple Sage Stuffing
up to 2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground chicken Italian sausage
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 stalks celery, sliced
1 Fuji or Pink Lady apple, cored and chopped
1 large bag of stuffing mix
2 tsp ground sage
1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large stock pot, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add chicken sausage and brown until no more pink remains, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, leaving some of the fat, then add onion, garlic and celery. Add a little more olive oil if needed to prevent the vegetables from browning too quickly. Cover to help cook the vegetables a little faster. Stir every few minutes until the celery and onions are soft, but not mushy.
Add apple and cook for another minute. Add sausage back in, along with the stuffing mix, minus the seasoning packet. Turn heat off and toss to mix. Add in salt, pepper and sage and toss again. Pour the chicken stock in, half a cup at a time, tossing in between additions to soak the bread cubes. Add enough stock to make the cubes soften and almost mushy.
Pour stuffing mix into a 9x13 ceramic baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Cover with foil, and bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for another 10 minutes to crisp up the top. Serve hot.