The First Thanksgiving
Jean Louis Gerome Ferris
A chef friend shared this recipe with me, and just one bite of this delicious stuffing will be enough for a chorus of “aahs” around the dinner table – it’s that good! It is the absolute best stuffing and my family loves it. It has honors as our family traditional stuffing. By adding Italian sausage, apples, pecans and Triple Sec, it is a moist and flavorful stuffing, distinctive from all others.
Stuffing is definitely the soul of Thanksgiving and this is by far the ultimate! Just give it a try and it could be your traditional stuffing!
Ultimate Thanksgiving Stuffing
1½ cups dried cherries, or golden raisins*
1½ cups orange liqueur (I use Triple Sec)
½ cup butter
2 cups celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb. Italian sausage, casing removed
1-16 oz. package stuffing mix
1 cup pecans, chopped
4 Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and chopped
½ cup butter, melted
2 cups water or chicken broth
1 t. ground sage
Salt & pepper, to taste
Place cherries in a small saucepan and cover with 1 cup of orange liqueur.
Bring to a boil, remove from heat and set aside.
In a large skillet, melt ½ c. butter over medium heat. Saute the celery and onion for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Using the same skillet, cook the sausage until crumbled and brown. Drain.
Combine the sausage and stuffing mix with the celery and onion mixture.
Stir in the cherries and liqueur mixture, pecans and apples.
Mix in melted butter, water, ½ cup orange liqueur.
The stuffing should be completely moistened.
Season with sage, salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 15" x 10” baking dish well.
Place stuffing in prepared dish.
Cover with buttered foil and bake till heated through, about 1 hour.
Uncover and bake until top is crisp, about 15 minutes
* Use any mixture of dried fruit you like: cherries, cranberries, raisins, dates, etc.
It is incredibly delicious, the ultimate stuffing!