You can certainly cook this in the turkey, should you be so inclined, but I rather love it in a pan, so that the top gets crispy and browned. Or do some of each, if your gang is divided. The types of mushrooms you can use in this recipe are fairly limitless. Use the ones that appeal, the ones that are on sale, the ones that fit into your budget. You can absolutely use all inexpensive button mushrooms, but it is really great to mix in some of the fabulously delicious and chewy (but pricier) shiitakes. If you're splurging (or if you have a friend in the mushroom or foraging world!) definitely go for all wild mushrooms.
The addition of turkey sausage into the stuffing makes it seriously flavorful. If you are looking to make this a vegetarian stuffing, leave it out, bump up the quantity of mushrooms to 1 ½ pounds, and use vegetable broth instead of chicken. And hey, if you have homemade turkey stock, go for it!
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 pound button mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
- Coarse or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 pound loose mild or spicy turkey sausage
- 10 cups cubed good quality white bread, left to sit on a baking sheet for one day**
- 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a shallow 4-quart baking pan.
2. In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, sage and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper and sauté everything until the all of the liquid is evaporated (the mushrooms will release liquid as they start to cook), and the vegetables are all tender and lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Add the wine and sauté for another couple of minutes until it is almost evaporated. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl.
3. In the same skillet brown the sausage over medium heat until browned and crumbly, about 8 minutes. Add the sausage to the vegetables and toss to combine. Add the bread cubes and toss again.
4. Drizzle over 1 cup of the broth (feel free to also drizzle over up to ½ cup of turkey drippings if desired). Add the parsley and toss well so that the bread is evenly moistened. Add in the remaining ½ cup of the broth and toss again.
5. Turn the mixture into the prepared baking pan and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 25 minutes or so until the stuffing is cooked through and the top is browned and crispy.
**Note: You can use a nice Italian bread, a sandwich bread, anything with some substance. Don't bother trimming off the crusts; they will add nice texture. If your bread is stale you don't need to bother to leave it overnight, or if you don't have time to leave it out overnight, just preheat the oven to 325°F spread the cubed on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until dry and lightly colored.