Sausage Dressing—with some tricks!

This is a pretty standard recipe, with some tricks that make a difference:

  • Use fat from the roasted bird instead of butter.
  • Reserve a third of the celery raw until final mix before the oven step (adds crunch).
  • Instead of browning the sausage crumbled, form it into thin patties and brown it darkly on both sides, then chop into rough chunks with the spatula.
  • Cook uncovered to achieve some crunch.
  • Use the hottest sausage your audience would enjoy.
  • Reheat in a waffle iron!

You need a big, big mixing container for a double batch.

Separate the fat from the drippings (you will be making gravy, right?) and save any extra fat to use in place of the butter most recipes call for. Unless you saved some from a previously roasted bird, or are cooking your bird in advance, this may not be a practical trick for you. Though you can certainly drizzle a bit of the fat over the finished dressing.

Print Recipe
Dressing with sausage Yum
Course Side dish
Cuisine American
Servings
bag stuffing
Ingredients
  • 1 bag herb flavored bag-o-stuffing — Comes in cubed and traditional. Consider doubling the recipe and using 1 of each.
  • 1 lb fresh breakfast sausage — Spicy is best, game is best. From the grocery store: Tennessee Pride Hot is HOT, RB Rice Hot is a little hot, Jimmy Deans Hot is not. Optionally mix with more hot pepper to achieve the desired heat.
  • 4 tbsp poultry fat — from roasted chicken or turkey. Or substitute butter.
  • 2 1/2 cups poultry stock — Water works but you loose flavor.
  • 2 large diced onions — not sweet onions
  • 6 stalks sliced celery — sliced, not finely diced. You want some texture. If unsure, or using small stalks, err on the side of too much. The celery flavor is subtle but important.
  • to taste Poultry Seasoning — Don't be shy.
  • 1 large egg — optional
Course Side dish
Cuisine American
Servings
bag stuffing
Ingredients
  • 1 bag herb flavored bag-o-stuffing — Comes in cubed and traditional. Consider doubling the recipe and using 1 of each.
  • 1 lb fresh breakfast sausage — Spicy is best, game is best. From the grocery store: Tennessee Pride Hot is HOT, RB Rice Hot is a little hot, Jimmy Deans Hot is not. Optionally mix with more hot pepper to achieve the desired heat.
  • 4 tbsp poultry fat — from roasted chicken or turkey. Or substitute butter.
  • 2 1/2 cups poultry stock — Water works but you loose flavor.
  • 2 large diced onions — not sweet onions
  • 6 stalks sliced celery — sliced, not finely diced. You want some texture. If unsure, or using small stalks, err on the side of too much. The celery flavor is subtle but important.
  • to taste Poultry Seasoning — Don't be shy.
  • 1 large egg — optional
Instructions
  1. Form sausage into large thin patties and brown well on both sides over medium high heat.
  2. Break up the sausage into chunks and remove it from the pan. Don't worry if it isn't cooked through yet. Leave any liquid behind.
  3. Add the fat or butter to the pan and heat to just bubbling.
  4. add the onions and sauté a minute or so then mix in poultry seasoning
  5. Add poultry seasoning to taste (don't be shy!).
  6. Add about ⅔ of the celery - reserving a third for later. Continue to sauté until everything loosens up a bit. Maybe another 2 or 3 minutes.
  7. Return the browned meat to the pan, mix a minute or so, breaking up any overly large clumps. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes.
  8. In a really large bowl (especially if you doubled the recipe) mix together the bread and the sautéed contents of the pan.
  9. Optionally mix egg into stock.
  10. Pour the stock over everything, add the reserved celery, and mix well.
  11. Preheat oven to 350°F
  12. Pack into greased/buttered bread or baking pans. Bake uncovered 30 minutes, remove from oven and raise oven temp to 425°F.
  13. Once up to temp, return to oven and check every 5 minutes until the top is crunchy and a little browned. Don't let it burn!
Recipe Notes

Here's a great morning-after-thanksgiving breakfast idea from my bro-in-law Rex:  Scramble some eggs, heat up some stuffing, and mix.  Instant sausage eggs and toast.

Diced turkey meat could be a nice addition.  Dark would be good.

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