2 baguettes, cut into ½” cubes (10-12 cups)
1 pound sausage, removed from casing
4T olive oil
3 large leeks, washed and finely diced, white & light green parts
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 ½ cups celery, medium dice (6 large stalks)
2 cup (8 oz.) mushrooms, washed and sliced
1½-cup chicken stock
½ cup white wine
3T fresh sage, chopped
½ cup dried mission figs, finely diced
½ cup toasted walnuts* rough chopped
2 eggs, beaten
salt & pepper
1. Put the bread cubes on a baking sheet and let them dry completely; overnight or place in a 350° F oven for 10 minutes.
2. In a medium size sauté pan over medium heat, heat 2T of the olive oil; add the sausage. Using a spoon, break it up into pieces and cook until brown. Remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon and place into a large bowl.
3. If needed, add the remaining 2T olive oil to the pan pan (you may have enough oil left from cooking the sausage); and sauté the leeks for 2–3 minutes, then and the garlic cook another minute. Add the celery and mushrooms. Continue cooking until slightly softened, about 5-8 minutes.
4. To the large bowl with the sausage, add the bread cubes, sautéed vegetables, chicken stock, wine, sage, figs and walnuts. Mix until well combined. Taste and season with salt & pepper, then add the eggs and fold them into the stuffing. The stuffing mixture should look moist, but not have puddles of liquid. If too dry, add a little more wine or stock.
5. Stuffing can be used to stuff turkey or place in baking dish cover with foil and bake place in a 350° F oven until hot, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for additional 5-10 minutes to brown and crisp up stuffing.
• To roast nuts: preheat oven 350º F. Place nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Shake the pan and continue baking until nuts are toasted, about 3-5 minutes more. Let them cool. The roasted nuts can be store in an airtight container for weeks.
TIPS & TRICKS
• You can cube and dry out your bread ahead of time. Store in an air tight container. It can also be frozen.
• You can also do step #2 and 3 ahead of time and freeze them.