Savory lamb sausage makes the best pairing for the hazelnuts used in this stuffing, but pork, veal or even turkey sausage seasoned with sage works, too. To skin hazelnuts easily, place the toasted and cooled nuts in a resealable plastic food storage bag and seal; massage to loosen the skins and sift through a strainer. If you're planning to bake this stuffing beneath a butterflied turkey, cut the butter to 2 tablespoons and omit the beaten eggs. To roast inside the turkey, the recipe stays the same.
Make Ahead: Prep the hazelnuts, sausage and parsley; cook the vegetables. Toss the hazelnuts, sausage, parsley and vegetables with 2 cups of the dry seasoned stuffing; season to taste, mixing well. Refrigerate in an airtight container or resealable plastic food storage bag for up to 2 days.
Servings: 10 - 12
- 1 pound lamb sausage links, casings removed
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 medium white or yellow onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 4 cups)
- 5 ribs celery, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped sage leaves (may substitute 1 tablespoon dried sage, crumbled)
- 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned (see headnote and NOTE)
- 3 cups dried seasoned stuffing, preferably Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing (crush 1 cup of it into a finer crumb)
- 1/2 bunch parsley leaves, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
Line a medium bowl with paper towels.
Cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium-low heat, stirring to break up any clumps, for 8 to 10 minutes, until no pink remains. Use a slotted spatula to transfer to the paper towel-lined bowl and let cool.
Wipe out the skillet and add the butter; melt over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and sage and cook, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the vegetables have softened. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Place the cooled sausage and the skinned hazelnuts in a food processor; pulse 3 or 4 times until coarsely chopped, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add 2 cups of the seasoned stuffing, the parsley and the cooled onion-celery mixture and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. (At this point, the mixture can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, or if baking only some of the stuffing, lightly grease an 8-by-8-inch baking dish.
Add the eggs and the cup of crushed seasoned stuffing; mix well to combine. Fill the turkey cavity loosely and/or place in a baking dish. If all the stuffing is to be baked outside the turkey, cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from a 1987 Gourmet magazine recipe.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick .
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