Cook time: 55 Min Prep time: 1 Hr Serves: 8-10
1 lb bacon diced
3 links Johnsonville Italian sausage (or your choice), casings removed
1 large loaf Italian bread (16 cups toasted and cubed)
1 c diced onion
4 – 5 stalks celery diced
1 1/2 large apples, diced with peels on (I used Granny Smiths)
1/2 c dried cherries (or dried cranberries if you prefer)
2-3 c chicken broth (depending on how well you toasted the bread)
1/2 tsp sage, dried
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 pinch red chili flakes
1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt & pepper
1. Heat oven to 350F. Cut your loaf of bread in half and place on baking sheet to toast nicely golden.
2. As bread is toasting, in a skillet saute your bacon till crisp.
3. Remove to a paper-lined plate, and reserve your drippings.
4. Add your sausage to the same skillet and break apart. Cook until all pink has disappeared.
5. Remove to a plate and set aside.
6. Return the reserved bacon drippings to the skillet and add your diced onion.
7. Saute until onion is just starting to soften.
8. Bread should be toasted nicely. Remove from oven. When cool enough to handle, cube the bread and add the cubes into a large bowl.
9. Add your diced apples.
10. Add the rest of your ingredients including your spices, and mix well until all ingredients have been incorporated.
11. Add your chicken broth. Depending on your size bread, it could take either 2-3 cups.
12. Using a 13 x 9 pan spray with nonstick spray. Pour the stuffing mixture and spread evenly.
13. Bake at 350F for 45-55 covered. Uncover the last 20 minutes or so to crisp a little ontop.
14. You can serve from the pan, or place in a pretty bowl to bring to the table. Sit back, and get ready for compliments!!