This recipe I have had since 2000, when I was still an avid meat eater. I have always wanted a perfect stuffing/dressing recipe, and this is as close as it gets. This makes a decent size baking pan. When you see the final mixture, you can be the judge if you have a pan this size. I used to double this recipe, but it was always too much so I have stayed pretty true to the original. Vegans, you will have to make your alterations. I mean come on, I took it from a meat recipe to vegetarian. Maybe this year I will be able to veganize it. Enjoy!
3/4 pound sweet sausage cut in small chunks (We have also used Gimme Lean, whichever one works for you)
3-4T oil or butter
2 cups chopped onion
1&1/2 cups finely chopped celery, including leaves
1&1/2 cups finely chopped bell pepper, preferably a mix of red and green (this rainbow of color is to die for)
2 T finely chopped garlic (I prefer this through a press sometimes)
1 T chopped fresh thyme or 1 t dried
Pinch dried chili flakes (optional, but I say throw those puppies in there, walk on the wild side)
1 t salt
Corn bread recipe (Post coming soon)
1 cup chopped scallions (Green onions or leeks can work here)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives (I have never used these)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add enough fat (oil or butter) to the pan to get about 5 T total. Add the onion, celery, peppers, garlic, thyme, chili flakes, and salt. Cook briefly until the onion is softened. With a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits in the pan. Combine in a large bowl with the crumbled cornbread, scallions, parsley, chives and pepper. Toss to combine.
If baking some or all of the stuffing in a casserole, pour a cup or two of stock over the stuffing to replace the juices the stuffing would have absorbed from the bird. Bake it uncovered until heated through, 45 minutes to 1 hour. For a crunchy top, uncover it for the last 15 minutes of baking.
You will have to adapt some of this to your kitchen and your tastes, but rest assured this is slap up delicious. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.