Friday, October 9, 2009

Sausage maple turkey stuffing

If you're going to brine the turkey... you have to make this amazing stuffing! Yes, it takes a bit of time but, it's worth every minute of preparation. The good thing is you can prepare it a day or two in advance and refrigerate until you are 1/2 an hour away from eating!

You will need 1 1/2 lbs of dense bread cut into 1 inch pieces. Dry them on a baking sheet over a couple of days.

In a large dutch oven or a big stock pot, melt 10 tbsp of unsalted butter over medium heat and stir in 1/3 cup of thyme, 1/3 cup chopped fresh sage and 3/4 tsp of poultry seasoning.

Cook for a minute and add 3 cups diced onions and 3 cups diced celery. Cook for ~ 15 minutes until softened and fragrant.

Add 7 cups of low sodium chicken broth, 2 bay leaves and a smoked ham hock (~1 lb). Simmer until reduced by 1/3 (~ half an hour).

Meanwhile bake 1 lb of bulk sausage in a 350 F oven. Drain on paper towels and break into small pieces...add the sausage to the broth and simmer a couple of minutes to blend the flavours.

Remove the ham hock and bay leaves. When cool, trim the meat from the bone.

Stir the bread into the broth and add 1/3 cup of maple syrup. Add the pieces from the ham hock, season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer stuffing to a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes if freshly made or 30 minutes if you make it ahead. The top should be crisp.

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