To quote my husband "This is the best stuffing ever" and he is right! You have sweet, savory, and spicy all in one. It still has your traditional stuffing flavor from the Sage but gets a kick of heat from the spicy sausage and some sweet from the figs and cranberries. Cook it until it's golden brown and you've got a crust on it that just melts in your mouth and tastes so buttery good. If you've never made homemade stuffing, try this recipe. You won't be sorry you did. If you prefer non spicy foods, use regular sausage.
1Preheat oven to 350° the day of baking. The day before, cut your white bread into cubes. 3 slices one direction and 3-4 the other. Lay on sheet pans uncovered overnight to let it dry out.
2Brown your sausage until no longer pink. Drain off any excess liquid. While sausage is browning, melt butter in another pan and cook onions and celery until soft but not brown. Add sage at the end and stir to combine.
3In another small sauce pan, add figs, craisins and apple juice. Over medium heat bring to a slow boil and cook for about 10 minutes until liquid thickens some and fruit plumps slightly.
4Pour sausage, veggies, fruit including juice into a large bowl. Add dried bread cubes. Beat your eggs and pour over mixture. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper.
5Pour chicken broth over mixture to moisten everything. Stir gently as to not break up all the bread cubes. Use your judgement. You want the stuffing wet but not soaked. If you need more add it, if you don't need quite that much don't use it.
6Spray 9x13 pan with PAM. Pour stuffing into dish. Bake for 1 hour on center rack of oven. If the top gets a little brown that is FANTASTIC!!
7****You can make this a day in advance or the morning of as long as you let your bread cubes dry out overnight. Just check the moisture level before baking and add more chicken broth if you need to before baking. Let sit out at room temp for 30 minutes if you do have it refrigerated before baking though.****