Cornbread, Sausage, Apple, & Pecan Stuffing

In the early 80s, Karen English and I started a catering business called Summer Fare and we would pour over the Silver Palate cookbook for inspiration.  This was one of my favorite recipes for stuffing. I have done it every year since and I never tire of it.

The key is to use great apples and great sausage.  Morning Glory Farm has some terrific sausage this year!

Adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook

12 tablespoons butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2 cups finely-chopped yellow onions
6 tart apples, cored and chopped, but not peeled (Jonathan, Winesap or Granny Smith)
1 lb bulk breakfast sausage, with sage (or your favorite bulk sausage)
3 cups coarse cornbread cut into small squares and baked hard
6 cups multi-grain bread baked hard
4 tablespoons fresh thyme
3 sage leaves teaspoon minced
1 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 1/2 cups shelled pecan halves roughly chopped
2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste

Melt half the butter in a large skillet.

Add onions and cook over medium heat until lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Remove onion and butter and set aside.

Melt remainder of the butter, add apple, and cook quickly over high heat until lightly cooked, but still firm.

Remove apples and butter from pan and combined with the onions.

In a pan cook sausage over medium heat and drain off the oil from the fat when cooked through. Add to the apples and onions.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss. Add stock as needed to moisten the bread just a bit.

It’s now ready to stuff or not to stuff.  If not stuffing a bird, place stuffing in a Pyrex (or similar) baking pan and pour 6 tablespoons melted butter over the top and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes with foil cover.  Remove the cover during the last 10 minutes of baking for a crusty top.

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