I try to roast a turkey at least once a year – admittedly, a big reason to do it is for the leftovers, like Turkey Soup and Turkey and Sweet Leek Pie.   So on the Family Day Long Weekend, we did up a turkey feast and I wanted to try something new, and between the Pioneer Woman and a Food Network Magazine handout on stuffing, I chose some of our favorite flavors and came up with what’s below.  An alternative that I’d like to try next is adding 1 cup of chopped toasted pecans, 1/2 cup bourbon and 2 diced pears – these are to be added before the broth, in the same recipe as below, with or without the sausage (though I know I’ll use the sausage) – so many options! – enjoy!

Corn Bread Stuffing

2/3 of an 8 x 8 pan recipe of Maple Corn Bread – cubed and lightly dried – about 6 cups

8 c. cubed and lightly dried white bread – about 12 slices from a store-bought loaf

1/2 c. butter

2 c. EACH chopped onion AND chopped celery

1 package (375 g) Johnsonville Breakfast Sausage Rounds – or your favorite kind

1 T. EACH chopped fresh sage AND chopped fresh thyme, leaves only

2-3 c. strong chicken broth

2 eggs AND 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

I made the cornbread a couple of days ahead and then left it sitting on my counter (after giving the girls each a large piece covered in butter and honey for a ‘snack’), I also had a bag of white bread sitting open and out at the same time – but, if you weren’t able to plan ahead, just cube up all of your bread and place it on a large baking sheet in a low oven for as long as it takes to dry it out.  The amount of broth that you need is dependent on the dryness of the bread, and drier bread just seems to work better (and also stay in cubes better).  Put all of the cornbread and white bread cubes in a large bowl and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt the butter and add in the onion, celery and sausage.  Saute and stir until the sausage is no longer pink, making sure to break it up as you go.  Once the sausage is cooked, the vegetables will also be softened so add in the sage, thyme, salt and pepper and give it all a good stir – (as mentioned above, this is where you’d also add in the pecans, bourbon and pears if going that route).  Add in 2 cups of broth to start and bring it all to a simmer, then pour it all over your large bowl of bread cubes and allow it to sit until the mixture is cool enough to handle – 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 and butter either a 9 x 13 pan or a dozen or so muffin tins if you’d like individual servings (it’s also an idea to cook them like this, cool them and then freeze them for an easy meal later).  Add the 2 eggs and parsley to the bread mix and stir to combine – you may have to get in there with your hands and you want to stir as gently as possible so as to not demolish all of the bread cubes.  Add a bit more broth if you think you need it, you want it to stick together, but not be mushy.

When you’re satisfied with the texture, transfer all to your pan of choice and bake for 30-45 minutes until completely heated through and crispy around the edges.  This was wonderful with our turkey dinner, but I think Brock and I secretly preferred the leftovers with a poach egg at breakfast the next day!

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