Stuffing could be the best part of Thanksgiving, and Mario’s Fennel Sausage Ciabatta Stuffing is a sure fire winner!
FENNEL SAUSAGE CIABATTA STUFFING
3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
5 cups ciabatta (cubed and toasted)
1 pound fennel sausage (removed from casing)
1 onion (peeled, diced)
2 stalks celery (thinly sliced)
1 bulb fennel (thinly sliced, fronds reserved for garnish)
3 cloves garlic (peeled, sliced)
12 sage leaves
3/4 cup dried apple (chopped)
1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
2 1/2 cups turkey stock or chicken stock
1/2 cup butter (melted)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease 9×13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place the ciabatta in a large bowl.
In a large saute pan add the sausage and cook, breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon, until browned about 7-9 minutes. Add the onion, celery and fennel and cook until softened and almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, sage and dried apple during the last minute of cooking and season with salt and pepper.
Pour the sausage mixture over the bread and toss to combine. Add the parsley and toss to combine. Add the warm turkey stock and butter and toss until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Remove to a 9×13-inch baking dish. Bake for the last 40-45 minutes until the turkey is cooked through and the top is golden brown and crisp. Garnish with fennel fronds.
Tip: Make the sausage mixture and cube/toast the bread the day before Thanksgiving. The day of the meal, combine all ingredients, bake and serve.