Chicken Apple Sausage Cornbread Stuffing

My favorite stuffing recipe that I used to make nearly every holiday season is my own take on Whole Foods’ Southern-Style Chicken Sausage and Buttermilk Cornbread Stuffing recipe.  I hadn’t brought this to a potluck in a few years as I’d been more focused on dessert, so I decided to make it this year and finally share the recipe.

Cornbread stuffing in general is never too mushy, and it lends some extra texture and flavor that white bread doesn’t have.  I really like this recipe because of the sweet and salty nature of it.  You can change up the balance of flavors by using a different type of sausage too – sweet, spicy, salty, etc.  Here’s the recipe as adapted from Whole Foods:

Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe cornbread (I used Marie Callenders’ cornbread mix)
  • 1 pound Trader Joe’s Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage, sliced into bits  (1 pound is about 1.5 packages)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth, more if needed
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

Directions:

  1. Cut cornbread into cubes and spread out on a baking sheet to dry overnight or toast in a 300°F oven for one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add sausage and break up using a spatula. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, until browned. Remove from pan using a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

    Lay your cooked sausage on a towel
    Lay your cooked sausage on a towel
  3. Remove drippings and add 4 tablespoons butter to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft, about 4 minutes. Add apples, sage and thyme. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, until apples are softened. Stir in sausage.

    Soften celery and onions, mince the apple
    Soften celery and onions, mince the apple
  4. Place dried cornbread in a large mixing bowl. Stir in sausage mixture and pine nuts. Add just enough broth to moisten the cornbread, about 1 1/2 cups. Add plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Spread into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cut remaining 4 tablespoons butter into small pieces and place on top of stuffing. Bake 35 minutes.
Chicken Apple Sausage Cornbread Stuffing
Chicken Apple Sausage Cornbread Stuffing

Old faithful never lets me down!

Holiday Bake-A-Thon 2010

Happy New Year!  If you know Kevin and I, then you know that we aren’t fans of spending loads of money to be around lots of drunk, belligerent people with inevitably flailing limbs and flying drinks in tight quarters.  To kick off 2011 KJ-and-Al style, we had a great dinner and got dolled up in our best ensembles for a night out… on the living room couch watching episodes of Top Chef until about 15 seconds before midnight.  Classy.  I’ve never stayed home on New Year’s Eve in my adult life, but I must say it was stress-free and really fun.

I’ve also been a bit sick the last couple of days, so I thought I’d spend the time updating here instead of circulating my germs in a new baking or crafts project.  The holidays are an infamous time for reveling in buttery, sugary foods.  I admittedly do partake in providing artillery for expanding the waistbands of those around me, as I usually try out a new baking recipe (or three) around the holiday season.

Nine sticks of butter (yes, NINE) and more than an entire brand new carton of sugar later, I think I truly outdid myself this year.  I had been itching to make madeleines ever since I got a madeleine pan from my Sho-Yu Secret Santa last year.  The little french cakes are so classy, and in my opinion, make a great holiday baking gift.  Thanks to Martha, I found some great recipes I was dying to try out.  I was really pleased with the colors that all three madeleines had distinct colors, making a nice looking gift bag.  And the madeleines would not have come to existence if not for the help of Santa’s Little Helper, Kevin, who took some great photos and helped out a ton with the baking.  I’ve never seen madeleine pans buttered so masterfully!

Gift Bags

In addition to the madeleines, I also pulled out some White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies from my baking repertoire, as well as a Chicken Apple Sausage Cornbread Stuffing from scratch for a Christmas dinner potluck.

White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Also, big thanks to Shirley for sending me the recipe for the Japanese Furikake Chex Mix that I’ve been eating my whole life but finally made for the first time.

Furikake Chex Mix

I’ll keep this post relatively short, but here’s the photo gallery for close-ups of the madeleines in the making.

Cheers to 2011!