Apple and Fennel Stuffing with Chicken Sausage Recipe
Serves: 8-10
  • 1 ½ pounds rustic whole wheat or white bread, hard crust removed
  • 4 Tablespoons unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil + more for greasing dish
  • ¾ pound bulk chicken breakfast sausage or squeezed out of the casings if in links
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 fennel bulbs, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 small apples, peeled cored and chopped
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt or 2 ½ teaspoons if using unsalted stock
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3-3 ½ cups chicken, turkey or vegetable stock (depending on if you like it wet or dry)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place bread in a food processor and process into large crumbs or cut into ½-inch dice. (I like to do a combination.) You should have 12 cups. Spread bread over 2 large shallow baking pans and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through baking, until completely dry, about 25 minutes. Transfer bread to a large bowl.
  3. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees and grease a 13x9-inch baking dish with olive oil.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage meat and sauté, breaking up meat into small bits, until browned and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  5. To the same pan melt 1 Tablespoon of butter and add celery, fennel, onion, and apple, and sauté, stirring occasionally until onions are tender and translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Add white wine and deglaze pan by scraping the bottom with a wooden utensil. Cook until wine has evaporated.
  6. Stir in thyme, sage, salt and pepper.
  7. Add vegetable mixture and reserved sausage to bread cubes, tossing to combine.
  8. Pour chicken broth over the bread mixture, tossing to coat evenly.
  9. Spread stuffing in a baking dish, dot with remaining butter and cover tightly with foil. Bake in upper third of oven until heated through, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake stuffing until top is browned, 10 – 15 minutes more. Stuffing can also be baked in a well-greased 12-cup muffin tin.
Bread crumbs can be prepared several days in advance.
Vegetables can be chopped the day before.
Entire casserole can be prepared up to the point of baking the day before and refrigerated or frozen and then thawed and baked according to the directions.
Recipe by Pamela Salzman at