Bread Stuffing with Sausage, California Dried Figs and Pecans
At Thanksgiving, tumble bread with figs & pecans in a sausage stuffing recipe you will turn to every year. Drizzle gravy on this hearty sausage stuffing.
Servings 12 people
- 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.
NOTES: Two pounds of chicken wings can be substituted for the turkey wings. If 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 to make salad or soup. Valley Fig Growers is a proud sponsor of Cook’s Country TV. Recipe credit: America’s Test Kitchen.