Stuffing, or more accurately in this case, dressing is a delicious accompaniment to any holiday table. In fact, being raised in America, stuffing is obligatory. Growing up, my mother used to make something very similar to stuffing, açorda, which is a very flavorful broth ladled over stale or day old bread. A hearty, filling meal back when people were more impoverished.
In the states, stuffing usually refers to the bread mix stuffed into the turkey cavity before roasting. Dressing is "stuffing" cooked separately and not stuffed. I prefer this method. To me, it is just more moist than the stuffing in the turkey.
This year, my turkey will be roasted whole, but spatchcocked. I think this method will render a beautifully crisp bird with very moist meat. I used the neck, back and giblets to make a delicious turkey stock with beer ( recipe to follow). With this stock I made the most delicious poultry based stuffing ever. I totally winged it, but the results were too good not to share. So here it is, my delicious brand new recipe for stuffing.
If you can not find Portuguese alheira sausage, use and sausage you like, it will still be yummm. You can prepare this up to two days ahead, but do not mix wet ingredients with the bread until ready to bake.
The Best Cornbread Stuffing with Portuguese Chicken Sausage (alheira) Chestnuts Apples and Collard Greens
Total time: including prep 1 hour
400 g. Alheira sausage or similar chicken sausage, casings removed and crumbled
450 g. Corn or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
200 g. Collard or cabbage greens, shredded and par-boiled
(boil in water for 10 minutes, drain and reserve for this recipe) This helps reduce bitterness.
150 g. Salted butter
150 g. Dried cranberries
150 g. Cooked, peeled chestnuts
2 Apples, unpeeled and cored, cut into 1-inch cubes. I used Granny Smith variety
2 Onions, diced
2 Stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
500 ml. Turkey or chicken stock, store bought or homemade
2 Sprigs fresh thyme
1 Flat leaf parsley, chopped to taste
2 tbsps. Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Sweet paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 200°c/ 390°f. Spread cubed bread onto baking sheet in a single layer. Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes. Remove and let cool, set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a large pot on high heat, add butter and sausage. Fry sausage breaking up large chunks, until slightly
3. Lower heat. Add onions, carrot, celery, chestnuts and apples. Add balsamic to deglaze pan. Stirring constantly to prevent sticking and burning.
4. Add stock, paprika, garlic powder and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low for 10 minutes, uncovered.
5. Turn off heat. Add bread, cranberries, collard greens and parsley. Stir to incorporate.
6. Tip into a 9x12 inch baking dish. Place in a preheated oven of 200°c/ 390°f. Bake for approximately 20 mins. or until top is golden brown. Serve warm.