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This recipe captures the traditional stuffing vibe with the flavors of sausage, aromatic vegetables, sage, and thyme. The bread soaks up all the goodness and stays moist inside, with a crispy layer on top. Bulk sausage is ideal, but you could use links and just remove the casings. You can skip the first step if you cut the bread into cubes and let them dry on the counter for 24 hours.
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 300°F. Spread bread cubes in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 300°F until dry and slightly toasted, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from oven; transfer bread to a large bowl. Increase oven temperature to 350°F.
While bread cubes bake, cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high until browned, about 6 minutes, using a spoon to break sausage into small pieces. Transfer sausage to bowl with bread cubes. (Do not wipe skillet clean.) Reduce heat to medium. Add butter, onion, and celery to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add apples; cook until soft but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Stir in sage, thyme, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup stock, stirring and scraping bottom of skillet to release browned bits. Transfer apple mixture to bowl with bread cubes and sausage.
Whisk together eggs and remaining 1/2 cup stock in a bowl until combined; stir into bread mixture. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Remove foil, top with thyme sprigs, and continue to bake until stuffing is lightly browned on top and set, 15 to 20 more minutes. Let stuffing stand 5 minutes before serving.