Stuffing w/ Sausage, Kale & Dates
Every year I try a different stuffing for Thanksgiving.
Sometimes I use apples or chestnuts.....other years I use bacon or sausage.
Cornbread or sourdough. Whatever fancies me that year.
I served Suzanne Goin's stuffing last Thanksgiving, and there is no need to try another recipe.
I have finally found my stuffing happiness. :)
Her recipe uses sourdough bread and turkey sausage.
No turkey sausage for me, please, so I used good quality, locally made pork sausage w/ fennel seeds.
I used all the leftover bread in my freezer, wheat, brioche, whole grain, and ciabatta!
I added celery, because what would stuffing be without some celery!!!?
and of course right before baking, I added some stock mixed with an egg, because I like a moist stuffing w/ a crispy top.
Personal preferences, and I have many.
This was fantastic.
Search no more for the perfect stuffing to accompany your bird.
Suzanne Goin's Stuffing w/ Kale, Dates & Sausage: (loosely adapted from the New York Times)
1 (1-pound) loaf sourdough bread (I used much more bread)
10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound turkey or pork sausage, casing removed
2 cups diced onions
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 sprig rosemary
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
2 sliced chile de árbol, or hot pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
black pepper, to taste
1 pound lacinato kale (also known as Tuscan kale or cavolo nero), tough rib stems removed and roughly chopped
3 ounces deglet noor dates (about 10), pitted and cut in half lengthwise
1 cup dry sherry (I buy the good stuff from Portugal)
2 cups chicken or turkey stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup roughly chopped toasted almonds
Make the croutons:
Heat oven to 375F degrees. Cut the crust off the bread and tear remaining loaf into 1-inch croutons. Place torn bread on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 4 tablespoons olive oil, squeezing and tossing bread with your hands to help it absorb the oil.
I season my bread w/ kosher salt & pepper.
Transfer to oven and toast, tossing once or twice, until croutons are golden brown and crispy on the outside but still a little soft and tender inside, 12 to 15 minutes. When croutons have cooled, place them in a very large bowl.
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and crumble sausage into pan. Sauté, breaking up sausage with a wooden spoon, until browned and just cooked through. Throw in the onions, thyme, rosemary (and chili if using) and celery and cook until onions are translucent. Cook about 7 minutes total.
Transfer sausage and vegetables to the bowl with the croutons using a slotted spoon.
Add half the kale and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan. Use tongs to turn the greens to coat them in oil and help them wilt and cook down. When there is room in the pan (from the greens wilting), add the rest of the kale and season with another 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. As soon as all the kale has wilted (it wilts quickly), transfer mixture to the bowl with the croutons and sausage. Discard rosemary sprig. Add dates and stir well to combine.
Return pot to stove over high heat and pour in sherry. Boil until sherry is reduced by three-quarters, then add stock. Boil until mixture is reduced by half, then swirl in butter until melted. This will deglaze the pot and get up all the yummy bits.
Pour hot liquid over crouton-kale mixture. Add almonds and toss well to combine; using tongs or your hands, squeeze and massage the stuffing to integrate the flavors and make sure bread has really soaked in all the liquid.
Transfer stuffing to a well buttered ceramic baking dish or casserole.
I make the stuffing up to this point the day before.
The day of serving, I whisk about a cup of more stock w/ a beaten egg and pour over to moisten the stuffing.
Bake in a 375F oven for about 30 minutes until the top is nice and crusty.
Everyone will love this stuffing!