Sausage & Chestnut Stuffing
Every year, without fail, I visit Williams-Sonoma for a few items to make our Thanksgiving dinner extra special! Pretty sure I have tried all of their goodies but I definitely have a few favorites. This Sausage & Chestnut Stuffing is a winner and I make it every year. From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving, I hope you enjoy it!
First we need to address the all important Stuffing versus Dressing debate. Traditionally, this dish is called stuffing if you stuff it inside the turkey and dressing if you cook it separately. I happen to be in the camp of stuffing the turkey with onions, garlic, lemon and fresh herbs and cooking the stuffing separately. I love the crispy bits and cooking it inside the turkey doesn’t get you the same result. That being said, it’s really hard for me to remember to call it dressing, because it’s stuffing. Whatever you decide to call it, we all know what we are talking about, right?
This Sausage & Chestnut Stuffing is very easy and you can assemble it before your Thanksgiving guests arrive. Then you can pop it in the oven when you’re getting ready to eat. It’s make-ahead heaven! And, let’s face it, on the biggest cooking holiday of the year, it’s best to be as organized and well-prepared as possible. If you have as much prepped or done ahead of time, you will ensure a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner. If you don’t have the few ingredients I mention from Williams-Sonoma, you can easily substitute others, I’ll reference suggestions in the Recipe Notes.
Sausage & Chestnut Stuffing
Every year, without fail, I visit Williams-Sonoma for a few items to make our Thanksgiving dinner extra special! I think I have tried them all, but I definitely have a few favorites. This Sausage & Chestnut Stuffing is a winner and I make it every year. From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving, I hope you enjoy it!
- 1 lb. Dried Bread Cubes Focaccia from W-S is my favorite
- 1 lb. Sausage sweet or hot
- 2 Tbs. Butter
- 1 Yellow Onion diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 1 Leek white & light green only, sliced fine
- 2 Granny Smith Apples peeled, cored and diced
- 1 Jar Roasted Chestnuts from W-S
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- Kosher Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 Tbs. Fresh Parsley chopped
- 1 Tbs. Fresh Sage chopped
- 1/2 Tbs. Fresh Thyme chopped
- 2 Cups Chicken or Turkey Stock homemade if possible, add one cup at a time
- 1/2 Cup Butter melted
- Preheat oven to 350 F. If cooking later, skip this step and pre-heat when you are ready to bake it.
- Add dried bread cubes to a large mixing bowl.
- Saute sausage in a skillet over medium-medium high heat to cook through and brown slightly. Add the cooked sausage to the mixing bowl with the bread.
- In the same skillet, add 2 Tbs. butter and over medium heat, add onions to soften. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often. You want to cook them until they're translucent, but not brown.
- Add diced celery, leeks, apples, chestnuts, garlic and salt and pepper. Cook all of these ingredients together for another 5 minutes or so until everything is softened but not brown. Stir in fresh herbs; Parsley, Thyme and Sage.
- Once all ingredients are softened, add all to the large mixing bowl with bread and sausage.
- Add chicken or turkey stock, one cup at a time. You want it to be moist, but not soggy and may need to add more later. With a large spoon, toss it like a salad so it doesn't get mushy. Taste the stuffing (all ingredients are cooked through) and adjust salt and pepper, if needed.
- Melt the butter in a dish and add to the stuffing mixture, stir to combine.
- Butter a large baking dish on all sides. Add the stuffing to the baking dish. At this point, you can cover it with a lid or foil and refrigerate until you're ready to bake it, or you can cover it and put it in the oven to cook.
- Bake for 30 minutes covered, remove lid or foil and bake another 20 minutes. If you want a crispier crunch top, increase the heat for the last 5-10 minutes to 400F on the top rack, but watch it, don't let it burn.
- If you don't have the W-S Focaccia Bread Crumbs, you can use any other brand, or you can make your own with day-old bread such as sourdough.
- If you don't have the W-S Chestnuts, you can sub another nut like pecans or skip it.