I’m one of those people that calls it stuffing regardless of whether or not it’s “stuffed” into anything. (dressing just sounds wrong) I’m also very against a wet soggy stuffing anyway, so prefer it baked to golden crispy perfection. If you like a super moist dressing, use a deeper baking dish, if you want even crisper, lay it out on a baking sheet. It’s all up to you!
Don’t skip out on the fresh herbs and the tearing of the bread instead of cubing. The rough craggy edges we get from tearing instead of slicing allow for more surface area to brown, and we want those crispy bits!
You can use whatever sausage you like, I prefer country sausage or breakfast sausage with the casings removed. Keep in mind if you use italian sausage it will change the flavour of this dish significantly since they contain a lot of spices!
Use a nice loaf of bread but be mindful of ultra hard crusted bread, it’ll soften up somewhat from the stock/egg etc but you can only do so much.
What you need:
Serves about 6-8
1 large loaf italian or french bread, torn into 1″ pieces (about 1lb or 10 cups)
1 lb country sausage or other ground sausage (neese or jimmy dean)
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup parsley, minced
2 tbsp fresh sage, minced
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken or turkey stock, divided
2 large eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 250F. On a large baking sheet tear entire loaf into large 1″ pieces. Bake for 1 hour, stirring midway to dry out the bread. Remove from oven and let cool.
In a large saucepan, break up country sausage into 1/2″ chunks and begin browning. Add butter, onion and celery and cook until translucent. Add 1 cup of stock, scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan and set aside.
Turn the oven temperature up to 350F.
In a very large bowl transfer bread, add sausage mixture, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme salt/pepper and gently stir to distribute. In a small bowl beat eggs and add remaining 1 1/2 cups stock. Pour evenly over dressing mixture and mix one more time. Be gentle as the bread will have soaked up a lot of liquid and we don’t want to break it up any further. I like to do this with gloved hands because it’s easier.
Place into a 9×13 buttered baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Removing the foil for the last 10 minutes. If you want an extra crispy top, turn on the broiler for the last few minutes of cooking but keep an eye on it.