A long time ago a very good friend of our started having Thanksgiving dinner with us. From the beginning his contribution was stuffing. It was the recipe his mother always made at home and she provided him with the recipe to continue the tradition. I am not sure of the origins of this recipe outside of that as I only ever received a typed version that she did in Word herself.
But anyway, we simply fell in love with this stuffing and over the years, as our friend as moved on to having other Thanksgiving plans and commitments, we have started making the stuffing ourselves. I have altered the recipe, as is my habit of doing, to it my cooking style, but the flavors and nostalgia of the stuffing have remained the same.
The Best Thanksgiving Stuffing. Serves 8.
14 oz bag cubed stuffing mix (the original recipe calls for Pepperidge Farms but you could use anything, probably even make your own cubes with the equivalent weight, dried in the oven–I am going to try this soon!)
1 unsalted stick butter
12 oz bulk pork sausage (I use sage breakfast)
2 1/2 C chicken stock
1 t kosher salt
8 oz mushrooms ( I use crimini and chanterelle)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup fresh cranberries, cut in half
Melt a stick of butter (less one tablespoon) in a big pot over medium heat. Add broth and salt to butter and warm. Remove from heat. Brown sausage until cooked in a large skillet over medium heat, remove from pan and put in the big pot.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the sausage fat and add mushrooms, onions and celery. Sauté until onions are soft and starting to turn translucent. About 3-5 minutes.
Add vegetables and cranberries to the big pot. Slowly add stuffing mix, toss gently until the crumbs are moist.
Put the entire mixture into greased 9×13.
Cover with foil and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 minutes more to get a good crust on it.