Almost Best Thanksgiving Stuffing

When it comes to testing out new recipes, I’m a bit of a research fiend. We’re hosting Thanksgiving Brunch later this week, meaning my research for recipes commenced about two months ago. We’ve got a great menu planned, and the stuffing is particularly special. I searched through countless recipes, videos and DVR’ed Food Network episodes, until I found the winner from the Barefoot Contessa. While the recipe is meant to cook as part of a Turkey Breast Roulade (turkey breast wrapped around stuffing), I am opting to cook the stuffing on its own – between the sausage, dried cranberries, dried figs, and celery – just seems like I can’t go wrong.

So, little did my mom know when she came over, about a month ago, she’d be spending the day with me to test out the recipe.  After all, what research process is complete, with out testing it out before game day?!  Roughly two hours spent going to six markets, left us with a deliciously memorable stuffing.  My favorite  is my mom’s Passover stuffing, so to compare this to hers, wouldn’t make sense – apples to oranges.  That said, this is an incredible recipe and fairly easy.  Buon apetito!

Some notes

  • The recipe is that much easier to make, by pre-chopping and measuring all ingredients before cooking.
  • The recipe calls for Calvados (apple brandy) or any brandy, to soak the dried figs and cranberries in.  We don’t store hard liquor at home, and my mom had the GENIUS idea to use two mini bar bottles of brandy.  At BevMo! this translated to less than $3 for the perfect amount for the recipe.
  • For purposes of our Thanksgiving company, we need the recipe to be Kosher.  Luckily, we live close to Jeff’s Gourmet Kosher Sausage Factory (also home to Scott’s favorite burger), and used their veal sausage.  This isn’t the “sweet and spicy” mix the recipe suggests, but still turned out great.
  • I omitted Pine Nuts because I don’t like them.  Not sure how it would enhance the stuffing since I think they are fairly soft when cooked.
  • For butter, I used Earth Balance non-dairy butter.
  • You can do everything in this recipe the night before, and bake it Thanksgiving morning, in the last 45 minutes of the turkey’s cooking time.

Sausage & Fig Stuffing

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