I became charged with the Thanksgiving meal in my family many years ago when my niece was just a tiny little thing. Over the years, i have loved how much she appreciated the traditions of the holiday and meal. As happens with traditions – you never want to disappoint – so tweaking and changing a recipe everyone tells you not to touch always has some risk associated with it. My stuffing recipe is one such recipe so I was thrilled when I changed it up last Thanksgiving and the family loved the new stuffing! TThe key for my family is ensuring that I use lots of delicious sausage meat. In addition to the sausage meat, this recipe calls for brioche bread, leeks, parmesan cheese and herbs. I definitely loved this stuffing, it’s hard to resist eating before it even goes into the oven. I have to stop myself from taking spoonfuls of the stuffing the night before the big feast. This year I might make a little extra so I can sneak a few bits of stuffing along the way to the holiday table!
From by the bay, wishing you savory stuffing food memories!
Sausage, Brioche and Leek Dressing
16 cups brioche bread, cut into ½ inch cubes with crust
2 ½ pounds Italian sausage meat
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bunch leeks, sliced in rings
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
4 to 5 cups low sodium chicken stock
½ cup parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Place bread cubes in a single layer on two rimmed large baking sheets. Bake until toasted about 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a large skillet cook sausage meat, crumbling the meat with a fork until fully cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and place into a large mixing bowl. Add butter to the same skillet, melt butter and then add leeks, thyme and sage. Saute together until softened about 10 minutes, separating the leek rings. Remove from heat and add to the bowl with the cooked sausage meat. Add the toasted bread cube, cheese, rubbed sage and parsley to the bowl. Add 4 cups of chicken stock. Mix the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. If dressing is not moist add the additional cup of stock. Mix well. The dressing can be made up to this point one day in advance and refrigerate until ready to bake. To bake the dressing, remove from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes, until dressing is heated through the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm.