This is the only stuffing my family will permit on our holiday table. With Italian sausage and a blend of so many great flavors, it's almost a meal in itself. No wonder it won first prize in a local recipe contest!
- 1 cup raisins
- 1-1/2 cups orange juice, divided
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 cup butter, cubed, divided
- 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
- 1 package (14 ounces) crushed herb-seasoned stuffing
- 4 medium tart apples, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- In a saucepan, bring raisins and 1 cup orange juice to a boil. Remove from the heat; set aside (do not drain). In a skillet, saute celery and onion in 1/2 cup butter until tender. Transfer to a large bowl. In the same skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add the sausage, stuffing, apples, pecans, remaining orange juice and reserved raisins to celery mixture. In a saucepan, melt the remaining butter; add broth, thyme and pepper. Pour over stuffing mixture; mix well. Place in two greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dishes. Cover and bake at 325° for 1 hour. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until lightly browned. Refrigerate any leftovers. Yield: 18 cups.
Originally published as Raisin-Studded Apple Stuffing in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2000, p24
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