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Sausage and Cornbread Stuffing

Sausage and Cornbread Stuffing

This is a combination of two stuffings that I use for chicken and turkey. I had soaked a turkey in a brine solution (i.e. salt, sugar, water, apple juice, garlic, bay leaves, cinnamon and whole pepper). Since the brine would make the turkey too salty for a stuffing I had to come up with something that could be cooked separately from the Turkey. This stuffing was excellent but I personally still noticed the salt from the bacon and sausage meat of the stuffing, nobody else thought it was too salty.

Ingredients - 8-12 generous portions

  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 granny smith or gala apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped (to the size of shredded cheese). These can be the soft apples the children wouldn't eat.
  • 6 slices Oscar Meyer center cut bacon, scissored into thin pieces
  • 12 oz packet Jones sausage meat, thawed (for variety try hot or sweet Italian. Don't try a maple flavored sausage - it's just too synthetic a flavor.). There's nothing wrong with Jimmy Dean sausage meat, I just started with Jones sausage years ago and haven't changed. Only use a sausage you know personally. I had bought a maple flavored sausage meat in a local supermarket thinking it had to be good and it was more melted fat than anything.
  • 4 corn bread muffins roughly 1 lb total weight
  • 1 tsp dried sage, crumbled (known as rubbed)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • No pepper or salt unless you like it very salty and spicy.
  • ½ cup apple juice or chicken stock
  • ½ c craisins
  • ½ c chopped pecans

Method

1. Gently cook onion, butter, garlic, bacon and apples in a nonstick saucepan until bacon is giving up its fat and onions and apples are nice and soft. This will take 5-10 minutes.

2. Add sausage meat breaking it up with the back of a spoon as you cook the sausage meat. Sausage meat won't really brown but will change color from the raw color.

3. Crumble in the corn muffins and add sage, thyme and parsley, craisins and pecans. Grind in fresh pepper and add apple juice or stock for additional moisture.

4. Turn into greased 8" x 8" brownie pan or equivalent size baking dish. Cover with foil and bake in center of 350° oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil at about the 30 minute stage to allow the top to crisp up. Again it won't really brown. If you had prepared the stuffing in advance and refrigerated the stuffing it will take longer to cook and heat through. Basically it is almost cooked but this finishes the cooking, blends the flavors and allows the top to crisp. It can also be used to stuff a turkey, or spooned into greased jumbo muffin cups or one cup custard cups and baked for individual servings.

Notes

I also tried this by adding some maple syrup and bourbon liqueur. I didn't think it added anything to the flavor.

PLEASE NOTE THAT SUBSTITUTIONS AND DIFFERENT METHODS WILL AFFECT FINAL TASTE.
© 2000-2005 Royal Temptations


Oonagh Williams, proprietor of Royal Temptations, has a Culinary Arts degree, offers Catering services, teaches a variety of classes in International Cooking, makes regular appearances on WMUR ABC Channel 9's Cooks' Corner and has her own series on Merrimack TV. You can contact Oonagh at 603-424-6412.
 
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