My Mom’s traditional Thanksgiving stuffing, the one my entire family dreams about all year and descends upon like a pack of starving wolves the moment the bowl hits the table. I’m surprised an eye hasn’t been poked out or a finger stabbed by a marauding fork or that a fist fight hasn’t broken out yet. Yes, it’s that good. Worth fighting
I finally pinned down the recipe and can make it myself. Anytime. No need to wait for Thanksgiving. I could make it every single day for the next year if I really wanted to. . .but that would suck the specialness right out of it. . .so. . . not.
The thing about it is my Mom never really follows an exact recipe – it’s all in her head making it kind of secretive so I had to pin it down. You know, make it myself under her direction like I’m doing rocket science or something.
The basic recipe is to first cook breakfast sausage in a skillet, remove it and sauté the onion and celery in a little of the sausage grease to pick up all that great flavor off the bottom. That all gets mixed together with herbed stuffing, chicken broth and a little melted butter. It’s left to sit a few minutes so the dry stuffing cubes can soak up the broth and soften.
It’s extremely versatile – you can add whatever your stuffing-loving heart wants to! Diced apples, pears, chestnuts, cranberries, raisins, fresh chopped herbs and/or nuts. Even cooked vegetables. Sometimes my Mom mixes in a little bit of cooked sweet potato. Sounds strange but it’s out of this world delicious.
At this point you can stuff your turkey with it or bake it in a casserole dish, uncovered for a crunchy top or covered for a soft top.
Then, stand back and let the feeding frenzy begin.
Or be brave and join in.
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My Mom's traditional homestyle Thanksgiving sausage stuffing, a versatile recipe with a lot of options. You can use it to stuff a turkey or bake it in a casserole dish.
- Set a large skillet over medium heat and brown the sausage, breaking it apart as it cooks into small crumbles. Once it's cooked remove to a large mixing bowl. If there's a lot of grease drain some of it off leaving about a tablespoon in the pan.
- Add the onion and celery, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, stirring often. Add it to the bowl with the sausage. Add the stuffing to the bowl and mix it with the sausage, onion and celery.
- Pour the cans of chicken broth over it and mix well. Drizzle the butter over it and mix well. Cover the bowl with plastic and let sit 5 - 10 minutes. You can stuff your turkey with it at this point or bake as directed in the next steps.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and grease an 8 x 8 casserole or baking pan with deep sides.
- Taste the stuffing and season with salt and pepper if needed. Stir well again and then spoon into the pan. Cut a tablespoon of butter into small pieces and dot the top with it.
- Bake 25 minutes, uncovered for a crunchy top or cover with aluminum foil for a soft top.
You can add diced apples, pears, chestnuts, dried or fresh cranberries or cherries, raisins, fresh herbs, nuts and even cooked vegetables.