I thought I would repost this recipe from last January in time for Christmas. It’s the traditional stuffing we serve at Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. You can bake it in the bird as a stuffing, place it under the skin (see the pictures below), or bake it in the oven as a casserole (then it becomes technically a dressing).
Click on the link to Friday Chicken for directions on stuffing your chicken under the skin. As you can see from the picture below it results in wonderful crisp skin plus an amazingly moist and well flavored chicken!
Traditional Sausage and Raisin Stuffing or Dressing
- 4 tablespoons of butter, plus more if needed
- 1 pound of sweet Italian sausage, either bulk or removed from casings
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 large stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
- Pinch or red pepper flakes
- 2 fresh brioche rolls or other soft bread, torn into pieces
- 8 oz. of cornbread, crumbled
- 2 handfuls of raisins (golden or dark) or currents
- Melt the butter in a large skillet.
- Add the sausage, crumble it into small pieces as it browns.
- Add the onion, celery, Herbs de Provence, fennel seeds and red pepper flakes.
- Stir and continue to sauté on medium heat until the onion and celery are softened, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile tear the cornbread and brioche bread into pieces in a large bowl.
- Add the raisins and mix.
- When cooked, add the contents of the skillet and mix well.
- If the contents look dry (it depends on how much fat is in your sausage), add another 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet to melt. Then add it to the bowl.
- Cover and set aside to cool. In my household that needs to be far away from the edge of the counter and the reach of the dogs.
- Put the remaining stuffing (not used in the bird or under the skin) into a baking dish, add about ¾ cup of chicken stock and cover the dish with foil.
- When the chicken has baked for 35 minutes, add the stuffing to the oven.
- Bake covered for 25 minutes, then uncover until the top has browned and is crisp.
- Serve with the chicken.
This stuffing is exceptional. Over the years I’ve changed it to reflect the changing tastes of my family and friends. The original “seed” recipe came from my (now ex) mother-in-law in Wisconsin. She used hamburger rolls, poultry seasoning, margarine, and raisins. The raisins have remained as a crucial part of the recipe.
Use any leftover stuffing in sandwiches, in a strata, in a waffle, as a “bed” for poached eggs, or in a bread soup (the cornbread and brioche will thicken the broth beautifully). It is worth the time to make this stuffing simply for the leftovers!
The panini above was made with raisin stuffing (regular dark raisins), cranberry sauce, red onions, and mozzarella.