Sausage and Pecan Stuffing 🍞 This is one of my husband’s Thanksgiving favorites (we call it “JJ Stuffing” in our family!). The sausage adds so much flavor and the pecans provide the perfect amount of richness and crunch.
Start with a 1½ pound loaf of pain au levain. This is my favorite bread for stuffing. The density provides just the right texture and the slightly tangy sourdough undertones add so much depth to the dish. If you have time, you can cube it and let it get stale for a couple of days. Or, if you’re like me and never plan ahead, you can just throw the bread cubes in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes until they’re nice and toasted.
In the meantime, heat a bit of olive oil in a large pot and add the meat from 2 sweet Italian sausages and 1 hot Italian sausage. Crumble the sausage into pieces and cook until browned. Remove the sausage and set aside, then add 2 cups of chopped sweet onion and 1 cup of chopped celery. Cook for about 5 minutes then add a tablespoon of fresh thyme, 2 tablespoons of salted butter, and some salt and pepper. Continue cooking for another few minutes. Once the veggies are soft, turn off the heat and add the sausage back into the pot with the bread cubes and stir everything together. Mix in two cups of chicken stock, ½ cup of chopped pecans, 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning, and more salt and pepper. Transfer the stuffing to a 9x13 baking pan and sprinkle the top with flake salt (@) and fresh cracked pepper. Bake at 350 for about 30-40 minutes until golden brown.