MOUTH-WATERING DELICIOUSNESS. This recipe is the perfect combination of sweet and savory incorporates fennel spiced sausage and sweet Bosc pears with sinfully rich cornbread. Is this “healthy”…well, not so much. But it’s Thanksgiving and we’ve replaced the high calorie and fat loaded mashed potatoes so why not indulge a little?
by Carrie Paul (Adapted from Bon Appetit)
- 8 cups ½-inch cubes gluten-free cornbread (I used Glutino brand)
- 1 lb. organic breakfast sausage, casings removed
- ¾ Tbsp. ground fennel seeds
- 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning (basil, parsley, oregano, paprika)
- Salt and pepper
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided (sub coconut oil for dairy-free)
- 1 leek, white only; chopped
- 4 celery stalks
- 8 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 Bosc pear, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
- ½ Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
- 1 ½ – 2 cups chicken stock (or low-sodium broth)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- Preheat oven 300⁰F.
- Bake cubed cornbread pieces on two parchment lined baking sheets for approximately 30 minutes, until slightly browned; tossing occasionally.
- Meanwhile, mix sausage meat with fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up with a spoon, until dark brown, 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a small bowl.
- Using same skillet, heat 4 Tbsp. butter to medium. Add leeks, celery, scallions, and garlic until tender; about 15 minutes. Add pears and wine, increase to medium-high and cook until liquid is almost completely evaporated, approximately 5 minutes.
- Increase oven temperature to 400⁰F. Prepare a 9x13x2 baking dish.
- Combine sausage, leek and pear mixture, parsley, oregano, thyme, sage and 1 ½ cups chicken stock in a large bowl. Add cornbread, salt and pepper. Toss and let sit 10 minutes. Then add additional stock if needed. Bread should be very moist, but not soggy.
- Add eggs and mix gently just to combine and transfer to baking dish and dot with remaining 2 Tbsp. butter.
- Cover dressing with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake additional 20-30 minutes, until golden and crisp on top.
DO AHEAD: Bake and toast cornbread 1 day prior; store tightly wrapped at room temperature. Sausage and leek pear mixtures can be cooked 1 day ahead. Cover and chill separately.