It is without a doubt, the most requested, most loved dish I make for Thanksgiving, and I've got a feeling that John and our friend Phoebus would eat it just as happily in May as they do in November.
- 1 pound fresh pork sausage, casings removed, crumbled (plus giblets, diced; optional)
- *I substitute Dartagnan's Lamb Merguez Sausage here. I started doing this for the "non-pork-eating" portion of John's family, but it's such an undeniable improvement, I've continued making it that way for porkers-and-non-porkers alike. Don't tell Martha.
- 1 large onion, (about 2 cups), finely chopped
- 3 celery, finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 pounds prepared cornbread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (12 cups)
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 to 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- To pan, add onion, celery, and 1/4 cup water. Reduce heat to medium; cook, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add to sausage.
- Add cornbread, sage, and eggs to sausage and vegetables. Bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan; pour 1/2 cup over stuffing, and toss gently (cornbread will break down into smaller pieces). If needed, add up to 1/2 cup more broth, until stuffing feels moist, but not wet. Stuff into turkey, using about 4 cups. Spoon remaining stuffing into a baking pan; it should reach the top. Refrigerate stuffing in pan and remaining broth separately, covered, until ready to bake.