1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
4 tablespoons butter
½ pound lean pork sausage or Italian sausage, hot or sweet
½ to 1 tsp salt, according to taste
4 to 5 cups densely textured, day-old bread, torn into ¾-inch pieces
1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage or 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken broth or turkey stock (use more or less to achieve desired moisture level)
Mushrooms, dried cranberries, apples (optional)
Lightly toast bread pieces under broiler or set on counter overnight to become stale.
Crumble sausage and cook until slightly pink. Add butter, onion and celery and saute until translucent. Add parsley, sage, salt and pepper, mixing well. Add optional ingredients, if desired. Pour skillet contents into deep mixing bowl.
Use ½ cup of chicken broth to deglaze pan and pour drippings into bowl. Add bread and toss. Gradually add chicken broth, one cup at a time, until mixture is slightly moist and barely holds together. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
If you are cooking the stuffing in the turkey, pack stuffing loosely in both cavities. You will have extra stuffing. Place remainder in greased casserole dish, cover and refrigerate. Roast turkey according to recipe.
In final hour of turkey roasting, remove greased casserole dish from refrigerator and add what is left of the turkey stock or chicken broth, according to moisture preference. This stuffing should be wet, but not soggy.
Bake for 30 minutes at moderate oven temperature until surface browns slightly. Remove stuffing from turkey and mix with casserole stuffing to serve.
Recipe by Karen Brucoli Anesi.