This stuffing is SO good. I always thought that my Grandma's stuffing was the penultimate. Thought is the operative word. It has everything : sweetness from the apples and cranberries, a great texture from the different kinds of bread and a wonderful savoriness from the sausage and onions. I believe that using the fresh herbs also gave it a great taste...
Sausage, Apple Onion and Cranberry Dressing
1 pound mild bulk breakfast sausage
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups chopped onions
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped
1 cup chopped celery with leaves
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 cup dried cranberries, rehydrated in boiling water for 15 minutes and drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 cups bread cubes
1 cup cornbread crumbles
1 cup stale french bread cubes
1 cup black bread cubes
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Saute the sausage in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through. Transfer the sausage and drippings to a large bowl. Melt the butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, apples, celery and poultry seasoning to the skillet and saute until the leeks are soft, about 8 minutes. Mix in the drained cranberries, sage and rosemary. Add the mixture to the sausage, then mix in the breads and parsley. Next add the heavy cream and the chicken stock a little at a time until the stuffing is very moist. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a casserole dish.
Bake in a 14-inch oval or 9 by 13-inch rectangular casserole dish and place, uncovered, in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until the top is crispy and the center piping hot.