Cornbread, Sausage and Apple Stuffing
For the second time in its 84-year history, New York's legendary '21' Club will serve Thanksgiving dinner with a menu including oyster stew and heritage turkey with cornbread, apple and sausage stuffing on the side.
Prior to his post at '21 Club,' executive chef John Greeley worked in Savannah, Georgia, where he saw how much flavor cornbread added to stuffing. He pairs it with apple, which "offers a nice tart flavor to cut through the sweetness of the sausage and cornbread combination," he says. "Granny Smith apples don't turn to mush like some other apples. And since this is baked separately, it is quite moist and pairs well with the roasted turkey and other sides."
Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage and Apples
Courtesy of executive chef John Greeley, '21' Club, New York City
Serves 8-10 people
- 1 cup onion, diced small
- 1 cup celery, peeled and diced small
- 1 cup carrot, peeled and diced small
- 8 cups cornbread
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves only, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, leaves only, chopped
- 2 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, diced medium and kept in water with a lemon in it until ready to cook
- 2 cups sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
- 4 cups turkey stock (or low-salt chicken broth)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Coat the inside of a large casserole dish with butter.
In a large frying pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and warm on medium heat.
Add the sausage, cook until browned and break up into large chunks.
Add the onion, carrot, celery and apple and sauté for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are slightly soft but not browned.
Season the sausage and vegetable mix with thyme, marjoram, salt and fresh ground pepper.
Turn off heat and fold in the bread. Make sure everything is mixed well.
Add some cold stock a few ounces at a time just to moisten the mixture. Add just enough to make it nice and moist without making it soupy.
Fold in the beaten egg and then spoon the stuffing into the large casserole dish.
Bake stuffing until top is golden brown and interior is around 165 degrees.