I have been making dressing for as many years as I have live away from my parents home..They loved "their" dressing and none of us kids did at all. The bread was never toasted for color and it was so mushy and unappitising. I could barely eat the stuff. After I married, I started experimenting with different dressings and came up with this combination. My family all loves it. My ex used to say it was better than his mom's dressing...and her's was outstanding!
Transfer all stuffing mixes, parsley, sage, and seasonings to a very large bowl (Huge).
Saute the sausage in a medium-size skillet for about 5 minutes, breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned and thoroughly cooked through. Drain if necessary but a few dribbles of sausage fat won't hurt the flavor. : D Place sausage on top of crumbs in bowl.
Melt butter in large skillet. Saute onions & celery for about 5 minutes until it softens a little. Stir in cranberries and apple and cook for a few minutes more. Pour out on top of crumb mixture and seasonings. Toss to mix togehter.
Stir in beaten eggs, soup, and add 3-4 cups of stock. Stir thru and add more broth as needed for moistness. That is such a personal taste thing..Just remember as dressing bakes it will thicken up, so make it a little looser than u like it.
Stuff the turkey if you choose and you will have plenty to bake in a greased 9"x13" baking dish, and probably more. I don't stuff my turkey. I usually bake a pan of it and then freeze the other half of uncooked dressing for a future use. It makes a big batch of dressing but if u want to cut it in half, feel free to do so.I like the mix of the dressing rather then all cornbread. The Stove Top just adds alot of flavor.. IDK but my family loves it.
Before baking, I find it works best to poke down cranberries into dressing so they don't burn on top, I discovered that the hard way. : )
Bake uncovered, in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes, until browned and crusty on top.
I usually make my own stock. I boil the backbone & neck in about 10 cups of salted water for an hour or so until the meat(cooks snack-haha)is falling off the bone. If you have time defat the stock in the fridge for several hours. Remove fat and heat back up just enough to liquify. Use as dressing liquid and to make the gravy.