Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner: The Stuffing

I love Thanksgiving stuffing and have tried many recipes over the years, but my favorite is from the Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook, which Andrew's dad introduced me to. How can you not love a cookbook with a cover like this:

We don’t actually stuff our stuffing, but it is still awesome. It’s packed full of good stuff like dried apricots, slivered almonds, pork sausage and Grand Marnier!

Grand Marnier Apricot Stuffing
Adapted from the Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook

1 cup diced dried apricots
1 ½ cups Grand Marnier
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups coarsely chopped celery
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 pound herb stuffing mix (I use a box or bag from the coop or Whole Foods)
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cups homemade chicken stock
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place the apricots and 1 cup of Grand Marnier in small saucepan. Heat to boiling. Remove from the heat and set aside. Melt ½ cup of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and sauté for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Cook the pork sausage in the same skillet, crumbling with a fork, until it is no longer pink. Remove from the heat and add to the celery/onion mixture. Add the stuffing mix, apricots with liquid and almonds. Heat the remaining ½ cup butter and the stock in a small saucepan just until the butter melts. Pour over the stuffing mixture and add the remaining ½ cup Grand Marnier. Stir well to moisten the stuffing. Season with the thyme and salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake stuffing, covered, 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake until cooked through and beginning to brown on top, about 20 minutes longer.

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