Dried Apricot and Sausage Stuffing
My wife found this recipe a decade or so ago in Sunset Magazine, and it's become the family Thanksgiving stuffing ever since.
Makes: About 12 cups:
- 1 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1-1/2 cup orange juice
- 3/4 cube (3/8 lb.) butter or margarine
- 2 cups coarsely chopped celery
- 1 onion (1/2 lb) peeled and chopped
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 pound bulk pork sausage
- 1 bag (1 lb) herb stuffing mix
- 1 jar (8 oz) plum sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 to 2 cups fat skimmed chicken broth
- salt and pepper
- In a 1 to 2 quart pan over high heat, bring apricots and orange juice to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a 10 to 12 inch frying pan over medium heat, frequently stir 1/2 cup butter, celery, and onion until vegetables are limp, about 15 minutes.
- Add almonds and stir until nuts are golden, 6 to 10 minutes longer.
- Scrape mixture into a large bowl.
- In the same frying pan over medium high heat, frequently stir-sausage, crumbling with spoon, until browned, about 10 minutes.
- Drain and discard fat; add sausage to bowl.
- Add apricots with orange juice, stuffing mix, plum sauce, and thyme; mix well.
- In the frying pan, combine 1/4 cup butter and 1 cup broth; stir often over medium-high heat until butter is melted. Drizzle over mixture in bowl, mixing to moisten evenly; dressing will be crumbly.
- For a more moist dressing, mix in up to 1 more cub broth.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon dressing into a shallow 3 quart casserole. (if making up to 1 day ahead, cover and chill.)
- Bake in a 350 degree oven (uncovered for crusty dressing, covered tightly for moist dressing) until hot (at least 150 degrees in center), 25 to 30 minutes (55 to 60 minutes if chilled).