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Sausage and Apple Corn Bread Stuffing

Make the corn bread in advance and freeze. Make the stuffing the day before Thanksgiving and refrigerate until ready to use.

2 recipes corn bread (2 8-inch pans)
3/4 pound bulk pork sausage, optional
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, clarified or not
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 large celery stalks, chopped
1/2 cup mixed dried fruit bits
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or
1 tablespoon dried thyme
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 eggs, beaten until blended

Crumble the corn bread into a large bowl and set aside. In a large frying pan over medium heat, cook the sausage, crumbling with a fork, until browned, about 10 minutes. Drain well and transfer to the bowl with the bread.

Add the butter to the drippings in the pan, reduce the heat to medium and melt the butter. Add the onion and celery and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the mixed dried fruit and thyme and saute for 11/2 minutes. Add the fruit and veggie mixture to the corn bread. Add the broth to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add the liquid to the corn bread. Mix in the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the eggs. Makes about 12 cups, enough for a 16-pound turkey. Serves 8-10.

To bake the stuffing in a turkey: Fill the large body cavity and the smaller neck cavity with the stuffing. Butter a baking dish large enough to hold the remaining stuffing and spoon the stuffing into it. Cover with aluminum foil. bake alongside the turkey for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the top is crisp, about 30 minutes longer.

To bake all the stuffing in a baking dish: Preheat an oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish and spoon the stuffing into it. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the top is crisp, about 30 minutes longer.

Thursday, November 16, 2000

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