Guest Author - Sandie Jarrett
Artichoke, Sausage, Parmesan Cheese, and Italian herbs combined with sourdough bread make this dressing (stuffing) a winner every time. Although you can stuff your holiday bird with this dressing, I prefer it baked in a casserole dish.
To make ahead, follow the Cook’s Notes at the bottom of page.
2 – Loaves of sourdough bread (1-pound each) crusts removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound sweet Italian Sausage, casings removed
1 pound hot Italian Sausage, casings removed
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and roughly chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
2 teaspoons fresh Italian (flat-leafed) parsley, minced
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1+ cups of low-salt chicken broth
Freshly Ground Pepper
Butter (for coating baking dish)
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Divide the bread between 2 – 3 baking sheets. Don’t over crowd the bread. Bake the bread cubes until dry but not hard, about 15 minutes.
Drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of a heavy skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and sauté until cooked, about 5 minutes. As the sausage cooks, break it into small pieces with a fork. Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, and artichokes and sauté until the vegetables are just soft. Add the garlic and herbs and sauté for 2 minutes. Transfer the sausage mixture to a large bowl.
Add the prepared bread and the cheese to the sausage mixture; toss to blend. Mix in 1 cup of broth and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Generously butter a large glass baking dish (13 X 9 or larger, if called for). Butter the dull side of a sheet of foil (large enough to cover stuffing filled baking dish) and set aside. Add additional stock (3/4 cup to 1-1/2 cups) to dressing mixture to moisten, as necessary, and toss lightly to combine. Spoon into prepared baking dish and cover, buttered side down, with foil. Bake, covered, for about 45 minutes or until heated through. Remove foil and continue baking until the top is slightly crisp and golden, about 20 minutes longer.
How to serve
Garnish with freshly minced herbs or sprigs of herbs and serve hot with roasted chicken or turkey.
Because Holiday meals are an important event, try to use fresh herbs whenever possible. When using dried herbs, make sure that they have a nice color and aroma. The general rule of thumb, when substituting dried herbs for fresh, is to use about 1/3 – 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs to each teaspoon of fresh minced herbs.
Either purchase a wedge of Parmesan and grate it or buy freshly grated Parmesan cheese from the deli case.
The amount of broth (stock) you use will depend upon whether you stuff a bird with your dressing or bake it in a casserole dish. We like our dressing on the moist side, so I usually increase the amount of broth by 3/4 cup to 1-1/4 cup.
To prepare dressing ahead of time, cook the sausage, veggies, and herbs as directed. Cool, then store in the refrigerator in a covered container or in a baggie overnight. Warm in the microwave or on the stove before adding to the bread.