Adapted from Bon Appetit
1 1/2 sticks butter
9 cups stale, crusty bread, torn into cubes
2 mild Italian sausage links (may use breakfast sausage if preferred)
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1 yellow delicious apple, peeled, cored and diced
3/4 cup dried tart cherries
1 cup chopped, roasted pecans
2 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chicken broth (if salty decrease kosher salt amount)
Preheat oven to 350º.
Remove sausage from casings and saute in large skillet till brown, breaking up into small pieces. Remove sausage from pan and set aside, and add butter to skillet. Saute onion, celery and apple in butter till tender.
Put bread cubes in large bowl and add sausage and onion mixture. Add cherries, pecans, herbs, salt and pepper and mix to combine. In a large measuring cup or bowl, whisk eggs into chicken broth. Add to bread cubes and toss till combined. Allow bread to soak up excess liquid.
Place stuffing into a greased 9 x 13 casserole. Cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes. Remove foil and broil briefly for more crispiness if desired.