The best cornbread is often found at barbecue and fried-chicken restaurants. Be sure to use sage leaves, not powdered sage. (Pressed for time? Buy good-quality prepared cornbread stuffing.)
- 12 cup cubed (1 inch) day-old cornbread
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp dried thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 lb bulk sausage meat
- 4 cup chopped onions
- 4 cup chopped celery
- 2 Tbsp finely minced garlic
- 2 tsp dried sage leaves, crumbled
- 2 tart apples, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
- 1 cup pitted prunes, halved
- 2 cup chicken broth
Toss the cornbread, 2 tablespoons olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl. Lay out on baking sheets and toast in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes.
Brown sausage in a pot over medium heat, breaking up the clumps; remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Discard the fat.
Place remaining olive oil in the pot; cook the onions, celery, garlic and sage over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
Add to cornbread cubes, then add the apples, cherries and prunes. Toss well. Drizzle with broth to moisten as desired; toss well. Let cool before stuffing the turkey.
Makes enough to stuff an 18-pound turkey
Makes 12 cups. Serves 16. Per serving: 515 calories, 62g carbohydrates, 16g protein, 23g fat, 85mg cholesterol.