This meaty flavourful Sausage and Parmesan Stuffing is the ultimate side with roast turkey, but equally good with roast chicken or pork.
Butter or olive oil, for greasing the baking dish
10 to 12 cups ciabatta bread, cut into bite-size pieces, day old (about 1 large ciabatta loaf)
1 pound spicy Italian sausages, casing removed and sliced into bite-size pieces (about 3 to 4 sausages)
1 large onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
6 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
6 to 8 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 to 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup dried currants
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup to 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
Grated Parmesan cheese, for topping (optional)
Handful chopped Italian parsley, for garnishing (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Generously grease a large baking dish (3 quart). Set aside.
Transfer bread pieces to a very large bowl. Set aside.
Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil. When olive oil is hot, add sausage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to the bread bowl.
In the same skillet, add 3 tbsp. olive oil. (Don’t remove any sausage fat from the pan, it will add more flavour and moisture to the stuffing.) When oil is hot, add onion, celery, thyme, sage, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and celery are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to the bread bowl. Let cool to room temperature.
Once bread mixture is cool, add eggs, Parmesan cheese, currants, parsley, and salt and pepper. Drizzle with enough of the chicken stock to moisten, tossing gently to combine. (The amount of stock will depend on how dry on the bread is, the bread should be moist but not soggy.)
Transfer bread mixture to the prepared baking dish, packing gently. Cover with foil and bake until centre of stuffing is hot, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove foil and continue to bake until the stuffing is golden brown and outer edges are a little crispy, about 20 to 25 minutes more. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
Yield: 10 to 12 servings.