Ciabatta Bread Stuffing With Sausage And Herbs

ciabatta and sausage stuffing

Turkey time is here and now is the time to start planning our menus for the big Thanksgiving Day feast. We all have our tried and true recipes that we serve on that day the one’s that our families count on every year, and this is one of mine, my ciabatta bread stuffing with sausage and herbs.

You might think that I use Italian sausage but I don’t. This stuffing is made with good old Bob Evans breakfast sausage, it comes in a roll a pork sausage that’s flavored with sage and other ingredients, I use it every year in my stuffing and I dare not change it for fear of a revolt!

bread cubes

Ciabatta bread is the key to this stuffing, it gives it a nice rustic feel and texture, it’s crunchy and slightly chewy and it holds up well when broth is added to soften.

I like to prep things ahead of time doing as much as I can the day before. You can easily prep the bread which should be day old and not super fresh. After it gets cubed up it gets dried out in the oven on a low temp, then left out overnight.

breakfast sausage

The sausage of course can be cooked up in advance as well, drained on paper towels and when cooled placed into a container and put into the fridge.

 

celery and onions

The celery and onions also get prepped and sautéed with a stick of butter, cooled down then place into a zip bag ready to be thrown together with the other ingredients the next day.

ciabatta and sausage stuffing

The morning of Thanksgiving Day everything gets dumped into a nice big bowl for easy mixing with some additional added ingredients.

ciabatta and sausage stuffing

Once everything is throughly incorporated and mixed well it goes into a buttered casserole dish which is the way I prefer to make it, however feel free to stuff some into your turkey if that’s how you like it.

Over the years we’ve come to love making three whole breasts out on the grill, everyone in my family prefers white meat, so that gives us plenty for everyone to eat plus leftovers to take home and the bonus of freeing up my oven for the sides.

ciabatta and sausage stuffing

Crispy, crunchy bites that form all over the top, nicely seasoned with the perfect amount of moisture underneath it all, it’s delicious!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Ciabatta Bread Stuffing With Sausage And Herbs
 
I usually double or triple this recipe for a crowd but I broke it down as best I could for you for one recipe.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1½ lb. ciabatta bread, the bottom sliced off if too crusty along with the ends with a serrated knife, then the remaining sliced into 1 inch cubes ( you could use 2 lbs. depending how much you want to make)
  • 1 lb. pork breakfast sausage, like Bob Evans in a roll preferably with extra sage
  • 1 quart box of stock, turkey or chicken, you might use more or less
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 6 ribs of celery with leaves, diced small
  • 1½ sticks, unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 2 finely minced garlic cloves
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • dried sage, thyme, salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Sage leaves for garnish
Instructions
  1. PREPPING THE STUFFING THE DAY BEFORE:
  2. Place the cubed bread on a sheet pan and into the oven at 250, turning until all sides are very dried out, remove and set aside.
  3. In a large sauce pan melt the stick of butter add the onions, garlic and celery, sauté on low until soft, let it cool then place into a container or zip bag for the morning of Thanksgiving.
  4. In the same pan you cooked the celery and onions cook the sausage, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon and cooking until you see no pink. Place on paper towels to drain, let it cool then place into fridge in a container or zip bag.
  5. THE MORNING OF THANKSGIVING;
  6. In a very large bowl add the dried bread cubes, celery, onion and garlic mixture, chopped parsley and the cooked sausage.
  7. In a small sauce pan add the stock and additional ½ stick of butter, let the butter melt in the stock, don't boil it just warm it.
  8. Then cup by cup add the stock to the big bowl of stuffing ingredients, stirring until moistened not drenched in liquid. Remember you don't want a soggy, mushy stuffing, you want the bread to keep it's shape slightly.
  9. Start to add your dried sage, thyme, salt and pepper, this is a personal taste, so taste as you go everything is cooked.
  10. Start out with teaspoons then taste and stir, adding more, but always taste it.
  11. When you think the moisture is good enough and the seasoning just right stir in the egg until it's all incorporated throughly.
  12. Butter a 9x12 inch casserole dish with deep sides and pour the stuffing mixture into it.
  13. Heat oven to 375F
  14. Cover pan loosely with foil for around 30 minutes then uncover, garnish with sage leaves and let the top crisp up for an additional 20-30 minutes more.

 

 

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Stuffed Pork Chops with Apple and Fig Stuffing and a Creamy Cider Sauce

stuffed pork chops

Stuffed pork chops turn traditional pork chops into something very special, especially when they’re filled with apples and dried figs. This combination was made for each other with hints of fresh sage tucked into the filling along with a creamy cider sauce, this recipe has FALL written all over it!cider sauce

The sauce is dreamy mix of apple cider, broth, Dijon mustard and mascarpone cheese, when all those flavors come together, along with the fig and apple it  intensifies the taste of the stuffed pork chops in all it’s glory.

stuffed pork chops

The quality of your pork has a lot to do with this dish as well, I use a heritage breed of pork, thick cut and bone in, it really does make a big difference, it’s so juicy and never dries out. For the stuffed pork chops you’ll want at least 1 1/2 inch thickness so as to make a nice pocket for all the stuffing.

Most butchers will be happy to cut the pocket in for you if you ask, but it’s also very simple to do yourself.

This meal is elegant enough to serve for a special dinner and easy enough to make during the week.

fall veggies

I like to serve a nice platter of roasted veggies on the side with the pork chops, here I used cauliflower, shaved brussels sprouts, baby rainbow carrots and some delicata squash which by the way can be done way ahead of time, even the day before.

Take your pork chops to the next level with this perfect fall meal, I promise it will become a family favorite.

Follow along with me on Instagram to see what I’m cooking up during the week.

Stuffed Pork Chops with Apple and Fig Stuffing and a Creamy Cider Sauce
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 bone in, thick cut good quality pork chops about 1½ inch thick with pocket cut in for stuffing
  • 1 apple, skin on chopped
  • 4 dried figs, chopped
  • 2 dried figs sliced to place into cider sauce
  • 1 small stalk celery, sliced
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • small handful mushrooms, chopped (optional)
  • 3 fresh sage leaves, chopped with extra for garnish
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ to ¾ cup breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • CIDER SAUCE
  • ¼ cup apple cider
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons, smooth Dijon
  • 2 tablespoons, mascarpone cheese
Instructions
  1. To prepare the pork chops, either have your butcher make the pocket or you can easily do it yourself by slicing each chop from the fat side almost to the bone with a sharp knife, make it wide enough so you can place alot of stuffing inside. salt and pepper both sides of chop and inside pocket.
  2. In a small saute pan with a knob of butter cook the celery, garlic and onion until soft as well as the mushrooms if using them.
  3. Add to the pan the sage, figs and apples, toss, then add the breadcrumbs, if it looks dry add a teeny bit of broth to moisten.
  4. Stuff your chops with the mixture and secure it closed with a regular wooden skewer ( you can see mine in the photo). You might have extra stuffing depending on how big your chops and pockets are.
  5. Heat oven to 375
  6. In a heavy bottom cast iron skillet drizzled with olive oil, or any pan that is oven proof ed, brown your pork chops until crusty and golden on one side then gently flip them over crusty side up, place a few sage leaves on top of each and put the whole pan into the oven.
  7. Cooking times will vary according to ovens but the internal temp should read near 145.
  8. Remove pan from oven, onto stove top and place pork chops on a plate loosely covered with foil.
  9. Then with a whisk deglaze bits with broth, cider on low temp, then whisk in Dijon until incorporated then lastly the mascarpone, whisking until the sauce is nice and creamy.
  10. Turn off the heat, add in the sliced figs to the sauce and return the chops into the pan, spooning a little cider sauce on top of them.
  11. Serve immediately with a side of your choice!

 

 

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