Monday, November 26, 2018

Sausage and Chestnut Dressing

It’s hard to get creative with Thanksgiving food, because so much of it is traditional. I have also come to learn that people want what people want, and I am determined to give it to them. This year, I did mix things up a bit by making a new kind of dressing. I read a lot of recipes, investigated a variety of techniques, and ended up with this one. It was unique in that the vegetables are puréed and sautéed before being mixed in with the other ingredients. For that, I give a nod to Tyler Florence, as that was part of his recipe. For the rest, I wandered off on my own, using components from my mother’s dressing, and tossing in some chestnuts on my own. The result was such that this is going to be my "go to" dressing for the future. It’s also nice because it can be made the day prior, and baked the day of, during those 30 minutes or so when the turkey has just come out of the oven, and is settling itself prior to carving.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of friends, fun, and good food, and that you didn’t exhaust yourself on Black Friday. Here’s my recipe, yes after the fact, but this goes equally well, deliciously so, with roast chicken. So make meals fancy by making dressing all year long, don’t just save it for Thanksgiving.

Sausage and Chestnut Dressing

1 medium carrot, peeled and quartered
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
2 stalks celery, quartered
1 small bunch fresh sage (about 1/3 c. chopped)
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sausage (I used Bob Evans)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 cups cubed (or torn, I tear) rustic bread
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)
¾ cup heavy cream
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9” x 13” baking dish with PAM; set aside.

In a food processor, puree the carrot, onion, celery, and sage until you have a fine pulp. Place a 10” skillet over medium-high heat and cook the sausage, until done but not dark brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate to allow it to drain; place in a large mixing bowl. Add the vegetable pulp to the pan in which you had cooked the sausage, and sauté until most of the moisture has evaporated; season with salt and pepper. Add to the mixing bowl with the sausage. Add bread cubes, parsley, scallions, and chestnuts; toss to mix.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together chicken stock, cream, and egg. Pour this wet mixture over the dressing mix. Season again, if needed, and fold everything together. Turn out into the prepared baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown on the top (if it gets too brown before the 30 minutes is up, tent with foil).

*Next year I will use more

If you’re new to chestnuts, and would like to try something simpler, you will love these Haricots Verts with Bacon & Chestnuts.


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Rustown Mom said...

I can smell the dressing through my screen - I bet it was delish!! I have never had dressing made with anything other than cornbread and mine is really simple. But I think adding crumbled sausage sounds wonderful and I will definitely do that to the batch that I made extra that is sitting in my freezer!

Linda said...

I still have yet to taste a chestnut! I see it is often used in dressing, and I bet I would like it. I always look forward to you sharing your holiday recipes. :)
I am trying to ween my family off Stove Top, which I started using when the kids were little because I had little success with my Mom's delicious recipe. This year I added my own rustic bread to it along with more chicken broth, and everyone seemed to love it and not notice any difference. Next year I may go completely homemade!