CORNBREAD, PEPPER AND SAUSAGE TURKEY STUFFING (for an 18 to 20 pound turkey)
½ pound unsalted butter (2 sticks)
2-1/4 cups finely chopped onions
2 cups celery, chopped
2 cups red bell pepper, chopped
1-1/2 pounds well-seasoned sausage meat
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/3 inch dice
1 turkey liver, finely chopped (or several chicken livers if you’re saving the turkey liver for the giblet gravy)
12 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread
1 to 3 teaspoons coarse salt, or to taste
3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1 teaspoon sage
½ teaspoon finely chopped parsley
- Saute the onions, celery and bell peppers in the butter in a large skillet until the onions are just pale gold. Remove to a mixing bowl.
- Add the sausage meat to the skillet, break it up with a fork and let it cook several minutes over medium heat. When it is lightly browned, add the andouille and the chopped liver. Brown it for 2 to 3 minutes with the sausage meat and add it to the vegetables in the bowl.
- Add the corn bread crumbs, salt and pepper and the rest of the seasonings. Mix well with your hands and taste for seasoning. Can be made 1 day ahead, cooled completely uncovered, and stored in a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator.
NOTE: Refrigerate stuffing in a container or resealable plastic bag overnight. Bring to room temperature Thursday morning and stuff the dressing loosely into the body and neck cavities of the turkey. Secure the neck flap with kitchen string or pin it to the back with toothpicks or trussing pins. Tying the legs together will help hold the stuffing in the body cavity.
If you are going to roast stuffing separately, place it in a buttered 3 to 4 quart baking dish. Bake the dressing in a 375* oven, uncovered, 1 hour, or until the bread is golden brown and the dressing is heated through. The dressing can be baked while the turkey stands after roasting.