It's hard to imagine a Thanksgiving feast without the dressing (or stuffing if you stuff your turkey). There is just something about this traditional bread based dish that keeps us coming back for more.
Who can turn down a piece of delicious bread based dish after all! Not many. Sage is an ingredient commonly used in dressing recipes. It has received praises for being a soft, yet sweet and savory herb. Sage is nutrient dense in Vitamin K as well. It's best to select organic, fresh sage as opposed to dry sage as the fresh is much more superior in flavor. Look for fresh sage leaves that have a nice green/gray color to them and free of any yellowing or dark spots.
Another ingredient that makes this dressing recipe flavorful is the addition of some fennel. It brings a unique but desirable flavor and of course has nutritional benefits of its own. Adding fennel is optional as this recipe will still be delicious if you choose not to use it.
Gluten-free Challah loaf cut into cubes.
I prefer using ground chicken sausage but if you are more into pork, you can definitely go that route as well. And of course one of the most important ingredients used in this recipe is the bread! To keep it gluten-free, of course I selected a bread from New Cascadia in Portland. Their Challah bread, which I used in my bread pudding recipe, is what I like to use. But you can select any bread you prefer, gluten-free or not, it will work with this recipe.
Baking is complete and a nice, golden brown topping has formed.
1 Challah loaf, 1/2 inch cubes- about 6 cups (or bread of your choice)
1 1/4 lbs ground chicken sausage (or pork)
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 fennel bulb, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 Tbs coconut oil for frying pan, plus more for coating baking dish
1 Tbs fresh sage, chopped
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 cup organic chicken stock
1. Prep your vegetables, slice the bread into 1/2 inch cubes, and grease a 4 quart casserole dish with coconut oil.
2. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Over medium heat, cook the sausage. Once it is done, transfer the sausage to a large bowl. In the same pan, melt one tablespoon of coconut oil to the remaining juices from the sausage. Then add the onion, celery, and fennel. Cook for about 15 minutes or until tender. Then transfer to the same bowl as the sausage.
3. Add the sage, parsley, salt, and pepper to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Then add the bread cubes and gently mix. In a small bowl, whisk the chicken stock and the eggs together. Then pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture. Toss to evenly coat. Place the dressing into a 4 quart casserole dish and back for about 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Makes 8-10 servings.