“To get the best flavors for your holiday feast, use fresh, local ingredients. Hudson Valley apples are in my stuffing and, to keep the turkey moist and succulent, I brine the turkey in local apple cider,” says Chef Dwayne LiPuma, CIA graduate and assistant professor of Culinary Arts, teaching at American Bounty Restaurant. “As a chef, there is no greater reward than to gather around a table with family and friends and enjoy really good food.”
Makes about 8 cups
½ cup chopped walnuts
6 cups cubed white bread
½ lb hot or mild sausage, casings removed
6 tablespoons butter
½ cup finely diced celery
½ cup finely diced onion
1 cup peeled, cored, and diced raw apples
Chicken broth as needed
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Toast walnuts in a dry sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat until a rich aroma is apparent. Transfer to a plate to cool, then roughly chop.
Preheat oven to 300°F. Place bread cubes on baking sheets and toast lightly, 10 to 12 minutes, until slightly dry but not browned. Transfer bread cubes to a large mixing bowl.
In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the sausage, breaking it into crumbles, until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove sausage from the pan, and drain thoroughly on paper towels to remove excess fat.
Return the skillet to medium heat, and melt the butter. Add the celery and onion, and sauté, stirring frequently, until tender.
Add sausage, vegetable mixture, apples, and walnuts to the bread cubes, and toss to combine. If the stuffing needs additional moisture, add chicken broth, until it’s moist enough to hold together when lightly pressed, but not so wet that it packs tightly. Season with parsley, salt, and pepper to taste.
Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Bake the stuffing in a buttered shallow baking dish, covered with foil, for about 45 minutes.