A combination of apples and sausage provides a nice balance of sweet and savory to this stuffing alternative.
- 8 oz. country-style sourdough bread
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 crisp apple, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 6 oz. smoked chicken and apple sausage, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 3⁄4 cups heavy cream
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 cup grated parmesan
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the Apple Cocotte and set aside.
Cut off the ends and bottom crust of the sourdough bread and discard. Slice the loaf into 1-inch cubes and place in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil, thyme and garlic. Spread on a baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake 20 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. Return the bread cubes to the bowl.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Melt the butter in the pan, and then add onion, celery and bell pepper. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the apple. Cook until the apples are tender and the vegetables are wilted. Add the parsley and sausage, and continue cooking until juices have evaporated. Add the sautéed vegetables to the bread, and toss.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream, eggs, salt and pepper. Pour into the bread mixture and stir to combine. Let sit in the refrigerator 5 minutes, then give it a good toss and return to the refrigerator for another 5 minutes. Pour into the buttered Apple Cocotte and sprinkle with parmesan.
Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking another 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
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