The oven is a workhorse on Thanksgiving so to make it easier on you (and the oven) this stuffing recipe can be made in the crock pot. There is very little preparation required beforehand except for cutting and sauteeing the vegetables and sausage before adding them to the slow cooker bowl. When you have a busy cooking day, like Thanksgiving, tackle this dish first as it needs 4 to 5 hours to cook before it is ready to eat.
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 pound Italian sausage (mild or spicy)
2 tablespoons fresh sage, minced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 large golden delicious apple, peeled, cored and diced
3/4 cups of dried cranberries
2 cups chicken stock (no salt added or low-sodium)
6 cups dry, unseasoned bread cubes
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Step 1: Heat the olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute onions, garlic and celery for 3 to 5 minutes until the vegetables start to soften and onion appears translucent.
Step 2: Add the Italian sausage, breaking up as it cooks so that it browns evenly. Season the mixture with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Once sausage is cooked through, stir in the sage, rosemary, and parsley. Stir in apples and cranberries.
Step 3: In a large slow cooker, combine bread cubes and sausage mixture. In a microwave or small saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir in chicken stock and melted butter with the bread and sausage mixture. Cook the stuffing on low for 4 to 5 hours. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.