Who doesn’t like Holiday stuffing? That was clearly a hypothetical question, we love it so much in my family that it is made in mass quantities designed specifically to have enough leftovers for brunch the following day. Or – as in this case, dinner, with a perfect little simple salad to round it out.
Thanksgiving, Christmas… heck, Valentines Day…….President’s Day…….Day of the Dead, for the love of ya motha…..if you like stuffing, make this! Then top it with an egg. You take a classic and beloved side dish out of the runner up category and put it right up there as the star of the show. (Thanks, Madison!)
As it should be.
Starting out with some pretty basic stuff…..stale crouton cubes….onion, celery, eggs. How humble and homey is this! But what in the world makes old bread taste so freaking good?
Enter Jimmy Dean sage sausage. This stuff is that magic flavor bomb that takes your stuffing from meh to YEAH! Believe me when I tell you, something about this sausage just does the trick. Make sure to choose the sage flavor…there are other varieties out there and all are no doubt delicious but for this – you need THAT. And hey…. no affiliation here, I just really love it in this.
Give three or four ribs of celery a nice fine dice. Same with your onion. Big chunks are No Bueno in a stuffing in my book. You want your aromatics to be just that, beautifully caramelized nuances of yumminess, not the onion and celery show. Get them into a big ol pot with some olive oil and give them some time to get soft, about ten minutes. A little sprinkle of salt will help draw out the moisture and get ’em going. Then add the sausage, crumble it up as best you can (it will be sticky) and get that nice and browned. It will break up as you go. Add some thyme and a pinch of kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. I love a pinch of red pepper flake as well…..totally optional!
I used about a loaf of Italian bread for this. I cubed it up the night before, and left it out to get really dry. You can always spread it evenly on a shallow pan and pop it into a 275° oven for twenty five minutes or so, giving it a stir every so often, and that would do the trick, if you’re short on time. You’ll end up with about 8 cups of dried bread cubes.
Turn off the heat and start adding about three quarters of the bread to the sausage mixture, folding it in so that you bring all the good stuff up from the bottom. Now, here is where you get to sort of play with this. Add the can of evaporated milk and your beaten eggs. Fold it all gently together. Looking sort of dry? Add some chicken broth, a half a cup at a time. Keep folding, and leave it just a minute to let the bread soak, before you add more. I added a cup and a half total to this, but you may need more or less. It will all depend on the humidity and the density of the bread you choose. Keep in mind you want this fairly “soggy” (bottom right in the photo above) because it will spend some time in the oven where it will dry out and set up for you. Don’t be afraid of a little sloppy! When you’re feelin it turn it out into a buttered 13 x 9 inch casserole dish and dot the top with butter. Into the oven it goes…..
Until you end up with something like this! Gimme! Awesome classic dish for the day of the turkey, day of the man in the red suit……or make it dinner any day. Dress up some baby greens with a super simple vinaigrette and then top your stuffing with one of these….
and you will be hooked. Pass the hot sauce.
- 1 loaf of stale bread, cut into cubes and dry like toast
- 3 celery stalks, finely diced
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 tube of Jimmy Dean Sage flavor sausage
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1-2 cups of chicken broth
- Pinch of red pepper flake
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 pats of butter
- Turn your oven to 350 degrees, and go ahead and butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish
- Coat the bottom of a large soup pan or Dutch oven with a glug or two of olive oil. Add the diced celery and onion. Sauté over a medium heat until softened, about ten minutes. A pinch of salt will help the veggies release some of their liquid and carmelize a little faster
- Add the sausage to the veggies in the pan. Spread out as best as you can and cook until no longer pink. The sausage will break up as you go. Add the thyme, salt and pepper and a pinch of red pepper flake. Turn off the heat
- Add all but about a cup of your dried bread cubes to the sausage mixture and fold to combine
- Add the can of evaporated milk and beaten eggs, stir gently
- Add chicken broth, 1/2 cup at a time, waiting a minute or two for the bread to absorb the liquid before you add more, fold gently to keep the bread from turning into one mass lump. If the mixture seems too wet, you can add in some of the bread cubes you left out
- When the mixture seems to have absorbed the liquid but still looks a little "juicy" go ahead and tip it all into your prepared baking dish. Dot the top with butter
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden
- Serve topped with a perfectly cooked over medium egg
- Dig in!
- This is awesome for breakfast, lunch OR dinner, with a simple side salad
- It's just plain awesome stuffing 😋