Sausage and Apple Skillet StuffingFrom Cook's Country | October/November 2013
Why this recipe works:
To maximize the crunchy, buttery portion of our holiday stuffing, we bake it in a skillet, doubling the golden-brown crust by crisping it up on the top and the bottom. A baguette provides the best texture for our stuffing, since its crust-to-bread ratio is higher than that of most loaves.… read more
To maximize the crunchy, buttery portion of our holiday stuffing, we bake it in a skillet, doubling the golden-brown crust by crisping it up on the top and the bottom. A baguette provides the best texture for our stuffing, since its crust-to-bread ratio is higher than that of most loaves. Toasting the bread cubes in a hot oven, instead of just drying them out as most stuffing recipes call for, gets us a step closer to our goal. To finish the job, we let the bottom of the stuffing crisp up on the stovetop before baking it in a hot oven.less
Baguette sizes and weights vary. Be sure to use 1½ pounds of bread for this recipe.
- 1 1/2 pounds baguette, curt into 1/2-inch cubes (18 cups)
- 2 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 8 ounces bulk pork sausage
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 onions, chopped fine
- 2 apples, peeled, cored, halved, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 3 celery ribs, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange bread evenly on rimmed baking sheet and bake until light golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring halfway through baking. Let bread cool completely.
2. Whisk broth, cider, and eggs together in large bowl. Stir bread into broth mixture until evenly coated. Set aside, stirring occasionally, to saturate bread.
3. Meanwhile, cook sausage in 12-inch ovensafe nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up pieces with spoon, until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Transfer sausage to bread mixture using slotted spoon; discard fat in skillet and wipe clean with paper towels. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat. Add onions, apples, celery, and salt and cook until browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in thyme, sage, garlic, and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir onion mixture into bread mixture until combined.
4. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in now-empty skillet over low heat. Add stuffing to skillet, pressing down firmly into even layer with spatula (skillet will be very full). Cook until bottom of stuffing is browned around edges when lifted with spatula, 7 to 10 minutes.
5. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in microwave and brush evenly over top of stuffing. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until center of stuffing is hot and top is golden brown, about 20 minutes, rotating skillet halfway through baking. Let cool for 10 minutes. Serve.
Browning = Flavor and Crunch
For the ultimate crunch, we don’t merely dry the bread; we toast it at high heat. To further develop its crust, we fry the stuffing in butter on the stovetop, without stirring. Then we brush the top with melted butter and put the skillet in a hot oven so the top can develop a similarly brown, crunchy crust.