Sausage, Apple, and Cranberry Stuffing

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves: 8-10 servings

2 loaves of white bread, cut into 1 inch cubes (I used 1 loaf, but recipe called for 2)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter
2 cups diced onion (2 large onions)
2 cups diced celery 
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup dried cranberries 
4 links of sweet sausage, casings removed
1 cup chicken stock

Begin by preheating your oven to 300 degrees.  Then cut your bread into 1 inch cubes and lay on a cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 7 minutes.  Meanwhile, finely dice your onions and celery.  Rinse and dry your rosemary and remove the needle like leaves from the stem.  This can be done easily by holding the bottom of the stem and sliding your fingers in the opposite direction of the leaves.   Once the leaves are removed, mince your rosemary and set aside.  Then dice your parsley and peel and chop your apples into small 1/2 inch cubes.

Melt your butter in a large skillet.  Add the onions, celery, apples, rosemary, parsley, salt, and pepper to your pan and cook over medium/high heat for 7 minutes.  Then add your dried cranberries and continue to saute for 3 minutes until your ingredients appear softened and cooked through.  Once your bread has finished baking, transfer to a large bowl.  Add your sauteed ingredients to the bowl over the bread and mix.  

Meanwhile, in the same saute pan, add your sausage to the pan, casings/skin removed.  You can remove the casings, by squeezing the end of your sausage until all of the contents are removed from the casings.  Break the sausage up with a spoon, and over medium/high heat saute until the sausage is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.  Add your sausage to your bread mixture and toss to mix together.  Then add your chicken stock and mix.  

Spread your stuffing on a large sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the bread appears browned.  Transfer to your serving dish making sure to reserve the browned bread cubes for the very top of your serving bowl.  The colors of your ingredients fade as they cook so to ensure a nice looking stuffing, sprinkle the top with fresh chopped parsley and an additional sprinkling of fresh dried cranberries, as well as the browned bread cubes.  Serve and enjoy!