For this stuffing, we started with a classic combination of sausage and pecans, then elevated those flavors with a bit of dried fruit and citrus. The combination of fatty meat and nuts is complemented by the acidity and tang of the orange juice and zest.
If dried apricots — which add sweetness as well as a pleasant chew — don't do it for you, feel free to substitute dried cranberries or cherries.
ORANGE PECAN STUFFING
Start to finish: 45 minutes
10 ounces sweet or hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons butter
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup diced dried apricots
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
6 cups stale bread cubes
3/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Heat the oven to 350 F. Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the turkey sausage until browned and cooked through, breaking it up as it cooks. Add the wine to the pan and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Add the butter, onion and celery, then cook until the onion is tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the coriander, chili powder, salt, pepper, apricots, and orange zest and juice. Continue to cook for 2 minutes to help develop the flavors. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, pecans, parsley and meat mixture from the pan. Toss until well mixed. Spoon the mixture into the prepared casserole. This can be done up to 2 days in advance (cover with plastic and refrigerate). Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and the center of the stuffing reaches 165 F.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 300 calories; 140 calories from fat (48 percent of total calories); 16 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 30 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbohydrate; 11 g protein; 3 g fiber; 690 mg sodium.