Adrienne’s Sausage and Sage Stuffing (AKA my mom’s famous Thanksgiving side)

Adrienne’s Sausage and Sage Stuffing (AKA my mom’s famous Thanksgiving side)

Over the years, I’ve always wanted to share this recipe here but my mom made it a challenge. It’s not like she didn’t want me to share it (although I did have someone once deny me sharing a dish because of superstition), but because she didn’t have a  “written” version of this dish. And getting her to sit to write it was another story.

I don’t think I’ve ever asked where this recipe came from. Although I’m pretty sure it was my grandmothers? My mom’s mother was an old school cook who never used a recipe– she just crafted food by its feel, consistency and her memory of its flavour. I think it has to be my grandma Molly’s recipe because, for as long as I can remember, I’ve eaten this savoury heaven on Thanksgiving. When she was alive, she’d spend the whole day in the kitchen grazing on the food she was preparing and giving directions to everyone from her spot at the oven. She also always had her favourite apron on. During our meal, she would sit quietly (still in her apron) smiling and eating very little. She was alway full by dinner because of her tasting throughout the day. l(“Laura, honey, you have to keep tasting everything,” she’d say.) Any ways, it was about the food.  It was about watching her family enjoying the meal. Those are my most vivid memories of her–sitting in the chair at the corn er of the table by the kitchen, exhausted from a day of cooking, but smiling with joy.

When I asked my mother to write the recipe for the purpose of sharing it for this site, in her method, she wrote instructions like “a couple handfuls of diced carrot.” It made me smile because I knew those words were instructions given by grandmother to my mom. So, if you dare, make this recipe with a “couple handfuls of diced carrots” and “a bunch of cremini mushrooms.” I’m not saying your handful will be the same as Molly’s or that it will even taste exactly the way we make it, but as long as everyone loves it, does it really matter?

 

Adrienne’s Sausage and Sage Stuffing (AKA my mom’s famous Thanksgiving side)

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 8 small breakfast sausages links (about 124 grams), removed from casing
  • 3/4 cup butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced celery
  • 1 1/2 cups diced carrot
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, finely diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
  • 1 3/4 - 2 cups chicken broth (low sodium)

Method

Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly butter a 9x13 inch casserole dish.

In large skillet over medium heat, add the sausage gently breaking it up into small pieces with the back of a wooden spoon until cooked and no longer pink. Remove the sausage to paper towel to drain. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel and then return it to medium low heat. Add 1/4 cup of the  butter and heat until it is melted. Add the onion, celery, carrot and pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they have softened, about

In a large bowl, toss the bread with 1/2 cup melted butter, parsley, sage and thyme. Mix in the sausage as well as the vegetable mixture and then add the chicken broth until well moistened, but not mushy.

Pack the mixture into prepared baking dish and tightly cover with aluminium foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

TIP: The stuffing can be made a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Take it out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking.

 

 

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