1 pound soft, French baguette or Italian
(or your favorite brand cubes)
8 ounces Bratwurst sausages, casings removed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ cups large dice, yellow onion
¾ cup small dice celery
¾ cup small dice, fennel bulb
¾ cup medium dice, Honeycrisp apple
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon minced, garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped, fresh sage
1 teaspoon ground, dried rosemary
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped, Italian parsley
1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)
2 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 teaspoon black pepper
¾ cup pecans, lightly toasted
4 large eggs, whisked
Melted butter for brushing
10 1/2 inch Cast iron skillet
Fresh chopped Italian parsley, garnish
Fresh nutmeg w/ microplane grater (optional)
Slice the bread into cubes, spread out onto a large, rimmed baking sheet and dry out in the oven @375F until lightly golden and crunchy.
Break the sausages into small, bite sized pieces and lightly brown in a skillet over medium-high temperature. Don't cook all the way through.
Add the 3 tablespoons of butter to a large skillet with tall sides and heat over medium temperature. Add all of the vegetables, apple and salt and cook until everything starts to soften and onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add all of the herbs along with the raisins and stir. Add the chicken stock, butter, Dijon mustard, black pepper, and stir. Remove from heat and let cool.
Note:The seasoned stock with vegetables must be cooled before adding the eggs to prevent curdling.
Add the bread cubes to a large mixing bowl and pour the cooled stock and vegetables over the top. Add the pecans, sausage, season with salt & pepper, to-taste and then mix in the eggs. Let sit for 15 minutes to absorb the liquids. Mix one more time before adding to skillet.
Liberally butter the cast iron skillet and spoon in the stuffing. Brush the top with melted butter and bake at 375F in the center of oven for 30 minutes. The center should reach 160F when done. Remove from oven and let cool some. Sprinkle top with Italian parsley and serve with fresh nutmeg, to grate. Serves around 8.
To reheat leftover stuffing; add to a sauté pan with a little chicken stock and butter and warm up.
"Savory bratwurst, fennel, apple, celery and onion, tossed with French bread cubes, soaked in a herbed, buttery, Dijon mustard, chicken stock and baked golden"