One of the most popular Thanksgiving side dishes could easily be dressing, also known as stuffing (as there was a period of time where the dressing was cooked inside the turkey). This sausage stuffing recipe will be one you will incorporate into your yearly rotation. You’ll love the flavor of sausage with Sun-Maid and Orchard Choice Figs. Here’s how to make it.
Bake the bread cubes in an even layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets until edges have dried but centers are slightly moist (cubes should yield to pressure).
Sausage Stuffing Recipe Pro-Tips
Using Turkey Wings
Each wing segment will need to be poked 10 to 15 times with the tip of a paring knife. The wings will be fried until golden brown and those holes will help create crispy skin and juicy meat.
Or, Swap in Chicken Wings
You can substitute chicken wings for turkey wings and if you do that, plan on using two pounds of chicken wings. Also, when using chicken wings, separate them into 2 sections (it’s not necessary to separate the tips) and poke each segment 4 or 5 times. Also, increase the amount of broth to 3 cups, reduce the amount of butter to 2 tablespoons, and cook the stuffing for only 60 minutes (the wings should register over 175 degrees at the end of cooking). Use the meat from the cooked wings, reserving it to make salad or soup.
Next you’ll cook the main seasoning ingredient in the sausage stuffing recipe. In the skillet that fried the turkey or chicken wings, you’ll cook the sausage until browned, breaking it up. Then, transfer sausage to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving rendered fat in skillet.
Saute onion, celery, and salt in the rendered fat with butter added in, cooking them until softened but not browned. Add in the herbs and broth, setting the pan to simmer and scraping the fond off the bottom of the pan. Then, toss the vegetable mixture with the dried bread cubes.
Final Prep and Bake
Whisk eggs, remaining broth, remaining 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and any accumulated juices from wings until combined. Then, add egg/broth mixture, dried figs, pecans, and sausage to bread mixture and gently toss to combine. Transfer the sausage stuffing to the greased baking dish. Arrange wings on top of stuffing, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and place baking dish on rimmed baking sheet before baking.
Finally, you’ll want to rest the stuffing after it cooks before fluffing and serving.
Thanksgiving Sausage Stuffing Recipe with Figs and Pecans
- 2 pounds hearty white sandwich bread 20 to 22 slices, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 16 cups)
- 3 pounds turkey wings divided at joints (see phot(see note)
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound bulk pork sausage
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter plus extra for baking dish (1/2 stick)
- 1 large onion chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3 celery ribs chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons table salt
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup chopped Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs about 6 ounces
- 1 cup pecan halves toasted and chopped fine
- Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 250 degrees. Spread bread cubes in even layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake until edges have dried but centers are slightly moist (cubes should yield to pressure), 45 to 60 minutes, stirring several times during baking. (Bread can be toasted up to 1 day in advance.) Transfer to large bowl and increase oven temperature to 375 degrees.
- Use tip of paring knife to poke 10 to 15 holes in each wing segment. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add wings in single layer and cook until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip wings and continue to cook until golden brown on second side, 4 to 6 minutes longer. Transfer wings to medium bowl and set aside.
- Return skillet to medium-high heat and add sausage; cook, breaking sausage into ½-inch pieces with wooden spoon, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer sausage to paper towel-lined plate, leaving rendered fat in skillet.
- Heat butter with rendered fat in skillet over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add onion, celery, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened but not browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Add thyme, sage, and pepper; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1 cup broth and bring to simmer, using wooden spoon to scrape browned bits from bottom of pan. Add vegetable mixture to bowl with dried bread and toss to combine.
- Grease 13 by 9-inch baking dish with butter. In medium bowl, whisk eggs, remaining 1 ½ cups broth, remaining 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and any accumulated juices from wings until combined. Add egg/broth mixture, dried figs, pecans, and sausage to bread mixture and gently toss to combine; transfer to greased baking dish. Arrange wings on top of stuffing, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and place baking dish on rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake on lower-middle rack until thickest part of wings registers 175 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 60 to 75 minutes. Remove foil and transfer wings to dinner plate to reserve for another use. Using fork, gently fluff stuffing. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.