Apple and Sausage Dressing

We don't think it's possible to have too many stuffing recipes in one's arsenal. This version is easy to make and loaded with flavor. Feel free to add some dried cranberries or prunes if you'd like to add a bit of sweetness. This recipe makes one 9" x 13" baking dish; you can assemble the dressing up to 24 hours in advance, cover and store chilled until ready to bake.

PREP TIME: 25 minutes
COOK TIME: 45 minutes

6 cups stale French bread, cubed
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped (we used Granny Smith)
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, plus more if needed
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a large skillet to medium; add butter, onions and celery. Cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add sausage and cook for another 7-10 minutes, breaking up the sausage into chunks with a spatula. Add apples and cook for 2 more minutes. Turn off heat and add poultry seasoning and parsley.

Add bread cubes to a large mixing bowl and add vegetable mixture. Slowly drizzle stock over the stuffing mixture and fold to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes and check for consistency. If the mixture is dry, add a bit more stock; you will want the stuffing to be quite moist but not soggy as it will dry out in the oven. Once the mixture is the consistency you prefer, season with salt and pepper.

Pour stuffing into a baking dish and spread out evenly. At this point you can cover until ready to bake or bake, uncovered for 45 minutes until the stuffing is heated through and the top is nice and crispy. Serve immediately.