Sausage and Apple Stuffing With Brandy
After baking, the texture and flavor of this classic stuffing are similar to that of a country pâté. It will improve with a bit of rest, so I like to make it the day before Thanksgiving and warm it in the oven just before serving.
Serves 6 to 8
- 2 pounds fresh mild Italian sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 10 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 1 sprig thyme, stem removed and chopped
- 1 sprig marjoram, chopped
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 4 cups peeled, cored, and diced Granny Smith apples (about 2 large apples)
- 1 cup roasted and peeled chestnuts, fresh or prepackaged
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup brandy
- 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and ground pepper
- 3 slices day-old bread, diced (about 2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook the sausage until it’s no longer pink and it releases all its fat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
To the same pan, add the onion and celery, and sauté until the onions turn translucent. Add the herbs and the apple and stir to combine well. Sauté until the vegetables and apples begin to soften. Add the reserved sausage and stir to combine well. (This recipe can also be made up to this point the day before and stored, covered, in the fridge.)
Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the roasted chestnuts, eggs, broth, and brandy. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bread cubes and mix well, until the mixture is no longer runny.
Transfer the stuffing into a 2 1/2-quart oven-proof dish, dot with butter, cover tightly with foil, and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until the top is browned.