A roasted turkey served without stuffing alongside is like mashed potatoes sans gravy, the two just go together on Thanksgiving. This cornbread and sausage stuffing is a guaranteed winner. It has all the classic stuffing ingredients with a little Southern flair. I prefer stuffing cooked in a baking dish rather than inside the bird because it allows the bread to get crisp and golden brown.
Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing
8 cups cornbread cubes
1 pound Andouille sausage or Polish sausage, cut into cubes
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for coating baking dish
4 celery stalks, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
8 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and chopped
½ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs, beaten
Step 1: Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place prepared cornbread in a single layer on two large baking sheets. Bake, tossing occasionally, until beginning to turn golden brown and appears to be drying out, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. You can skip this step if you've purchased store bought cornbread stuffing mix.
Step 2: Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium high heat and brown sausage, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove sausage from the pan, let cool. Reduce heat to medium and melt 8 tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Add celery, bell peppers, scallions, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add apples and wine and continue to cook, increasing the heat to medium high again. Cook the mixture and cook until wine has mostly evaporated, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Step 3: Raise oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a large baking dish. In a large bowl, combine sausage, sauteed vegetables, parsley, cayenne pepper, thyme, sage, and 1 1/2 cups chicken broth. Add cornbread and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit 10 minutes to allow the cornbread to soak up the broth then add remaining 1/2 cup broth and toss. The cornbread should be moist but not soggy and gummy. Add beaten eggs and mix gently just to combine. Transfer the mixture to a prepared baking dish and dot the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 20 to 30 minutes until top is golden brown.