Rustic sausage and fennel stuffing

Rustic sausage and fennel stuffing

November 20, 2017

Rustic sausage and fennel stuffing

Serves 12 to 16

      12 cups 1-inch-cubed sourdough bread, crust on
        3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
          3 pounds organic sweet Italian sausages, casing removed
            12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
              4½ cups chopped onions (from about 3 large)
                3 cups chopped fresh fennel
                  9 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
                    1½ teaspoons kosher salt
                      1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
                        6 large eggs, beaten to blend
                          1½ cups half and half, divided
                            1½ cups finely grated Parmigiano cheese
                              ¾ cup low-salt chicken broth
                                ¾ cup chopped fresh parsley



                              Preheat oven to 350. Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Bake the bread cubes until lightly toasted, switching the positions of the baking sheets halfway through baking, 10 to 15 minutes total. Remove the bread cubes from the oven and set aside.

                              Heat 1½ tablespoons olive oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the sausages to the skillet and sauté until browned and cooked through, breaking up with back of fork or spoon, 5 to 7 minutes per batch. Transfer to a bowl large enough to hold the entire stuffing. (Do not clean the skillet).

                              Melt the butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, fennel, garlic, salt, and pepper and sauté until the onions are golden brown, stirring frequently, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the sausage. Mix in the toasted bread cubes.

                              Whisk the eggs, 1 cup half and half, Parmesan, broth, and parsley in a medium bowl to blend. Pour the egg mixture over the sausage-and-bread mixture and toss gently to coat. Transfer the stuffing to two 9×9 baking pans. Drizzle the remaining ½ cup half and half over the stuffing.

                              Bake the stuffing, covered with foil, for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered until the top begins to brown, about 20 minutes longer.


                              It has arrived! Thanksgiving holds a special place in my heart, and my kitchen, not only because it is my favorite meal of the year, but because I want to craft a meal that feels as closely knit as the family and friends sitting around the table. For me, Thanksgiving’s greatest challenge is the timing. My suggestion is to be diligent about your lists and prep!

                              The entire Thanksgiving menu:
                              Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Sage
                              Kale Salad with Pecorino and Truffle Vinaigrette – Recipe coming soon!
                              Herb-Buttered Turkey with Clementine – Recipe coming soon!
                              Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes – Recipe coming soon!
                              Rustic Sausage and Fennel Stuffing
                              Green Bean Casserole with Wild Mushrooms
                              Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Cookie Crust

  1. Emily

    December 3, 2016

    Made this on Thanksgiving, and it's the best stuffing I've ever had! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Mary

    March 26, 2017

    We made this for Christmas and it made enough for 2 casserole dishes, one of which I stashed in the freezer and we just had it today with a BBQ turkey. It was just as fabulous today as it was in December. All our guests loved it and many asked for the recipe and claimed it was the best stuffing ever. For me, not a huge stuffing fan, it was deliciously the best I've ever had.

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