My sister and my son Zach absolutely LOVE this recipe. I make a double batch at the holiday's because if I don't no one else will get any LOL. There is allot of prep work to it but I promise the results are WELL worth the effort. It's moist and flavorful and something a little different from the usual.
If you are making your own bread cubes. Cut up artisan bread into about 1 - 1 1/2 inch cubes or tear into about 1 inch chunks. Spread evenly onto a lightly greased cookie sheet (use Pam cooking spray) and toast lightly in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. If using pre-packaged bread cubes you can skip this step
Peel and core apples.
Brown the sausage and drain. Set aside
Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Chop and set aside.
Finely chop the stalks of celery
Using about 1 - 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a skillet. Saute celery, apples,onions,and garlic and mushrooms until onions, celery and apples are opaque. Do not drain. Set aside.
In a small saucepan melt the stick of butter and set aside.
Mince the Italian Parley and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine toasted bread cubes (or packaged cubes) sausage,apples,onions, garlic,mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste and Italian Parley. Stir until well blended. About 1/4 of a can at a time (so mixture does not get too wet and soggy) add the chicken broth. Gently stir until well blended.
Drizzle about 1/4 of the melted butter into the bottom of a large rectangular baking dish. I like to use a glass baking dish because it seems to work best with this recipe.
Pour the stuffing into the baking dish and evenly layer it over the pan. Drizzle the remaining butter over the top evenly.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 -20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10- 15 minutes or just until the top is a little toasted and golden brown.
Remove from oven and let sit for about 3 -5 minutes before serving. With the foil cover on. You want it to rest but not loose too much heat.
NOTE: To switch it up a little I have also added 1 green pepper (seeded and chopped) add this ingredient when sauteeing your other ingredients. I have also added about 1/2 - 1C of dried cranberries to this recipe (along with the green pepper) and this gives it a really nice additional flavor as well.
This is one of those great recipes that you can play with allot. Remove what you don't like and add what you do like. The main thing is to make sure that the flavors you choose marry well and that you don't let it get overly wet or mushy. It's also a forgiving recipe. If you find that your stuffing is too moist, Bake it for another 15 minutes or so (uncovered) until some of the liquid dissipates.