Christmas Sausage Stuffing
8 cups plain white bread, crust on, cut into 1-inch cubes
¼ cup of Bellisari’s Saigon Street Sauce
1 lb pork sausage
3 tbsp butter, unsalted
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 large celery stalk
1 granny smith apple, skin left on, ½ inch cubes
1/3 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup chicken stock/broth, low sodium
1/3 cup low fat heavy cream
1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
2 tbsp butter, melted (extra for brushing)
Thyme leaves, small sage leaves, chopped parsley, optional garnish
Preheat oven to 320°F. Spread bread out on tray (squished is fine). Bake for 8 minutes until lightly toasted – pale gold ok, should be soft on inside but crispy on outside. Transfer into large bowl.
Meanwhile, place about 1 tsp butter in a large skillet over high heat. Once melted, add sausage and cook, breaking it up as you go. Once cooked with a few golden bits, add the Bellisari's Saigon Street Sauce and pour over bread (yes, including all the fat!). Return skillet to stove, turn down to medium. Add remaining butter. Once melted, add onion, cook 2 minutes. Add celery and apple, cook for 3 minutes. Add pecans, chicken stock, heavy cream, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir. Bring to simmer, then cook for 2 minutes, then pour it into the bowl. Mix well, ensuring all the bread is evenly coated. Get in there with your hands if needed!
Taste and add more salt if needed (depends on saltiness of sausage). Transfer into a 2 quarts baking dish. Cover with foil, bake 40 minutes. Remove foil, brush with melted butter if desired. Then broil on high for 2 to 4 minutes until the top is nicely browned (watch it carefully)
Serve warm, sprinkled with parsley, fresh thyme or some small fresh sage leaves if desired!