My mom had always made a basic Stovetop stuffing the holidays, so for the most part, it's the only stuffing I'd ever known. But I've seen recipes for all sorts of stuffings over the years and thought this was my opportunity to give one of them a go. So I settled on this recipe for Fennel, Sausage and Caramelized Apple Stuffing. I opted for spicy sausage from the Farmer's Market in the neighborhood. This had a great kick to it and made a ton. That and it had 10 other side dishes to compete with. But after taking nearly 2 hours to make (there was a lot of chopping involved) I now know why so many people opt for the StoveTop. But I do feel this was better. I've been enjoying it all weekend.
Fennel, Sausage, and Caramelized Apple Stuffing (serves 10-12)
- 12 oz sourdough bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- cooking spray
- 9 oz Italian sausage
- 5 tsp olive oil, divided
- 4 cups chpped onion
- 1 1/4 cups sliced fennel bulb
- 1 1/4 cups chopped carrot
- 2 TB chopped fresh sage
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 cups chpped Golden Delicious apple
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free chicken broth
- 2 large eggs
DirectionsPreheat oven to 400 degrees
Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 16 minutes or until golden, stirring after 8 minutes. Place in a large bowl.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage to pan; cook 8 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add sausage to bread.
Return pan to medium-high heat. Add 3 tsp oil to pan, swirl to coat. Add onion and fennel bulb, carrot, sage, fennel seeds and garlic. Add 1/4 tsp pepper, suate 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add vegetables to sausage mixture.
Return pan to medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 tsp oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add apple and sugar, saute 5 minutes or until apple caramelizes, stirring occasionally. Add to the sausage mixture.
Combine broth and eggs in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add broth mixture and reamining 1/4 tsp pepper to sausage mixture, toss well to combine.
Spoon sausage mixture into a 13 x 9 inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover with foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover dish; bake for another 20 minutes or until browned and crisp.