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Ciabatta Stuffing w/Apricots, Grand Marnier and Sausage

Ciabatta Stuffing with Apricots, Grand Mariner and Sausage

serves 10-12

This is my FAVORITE stuffing and why I only make it once a year is beyond me!

I created the recipe many years ago by taking my favorite parts of a Silver Palate recipe and

parts of a Giada recipe!

Additionally, I have made it vegetarian many times by eliminating the sausage and parmesan

and subbing veggie broth for the chicken broth.

1 1/2 cups Grand Mariner, heated (I do this in a large pyrex measuring cup in the microwave)

1 cup chopped dried apricots

3 tablespoons butter or olive oil

8 ounces spicy turkey Italian sausage

2 large onions, diced small

2 carrots, diced small

2 celery stalks, diced small

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary

salt/pepper

1 pound loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (and dried overnight on the counter)

1 cup slivered almonds

2/3 cup grated parmesan

2 - 2 1/2 cups low salt chicken broth

2 large eggs, beaten

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 10x15 glass baking dish or large casserole dish with cooking spray.

Combine heated Grand Mariner with chopped apricots, let sit to soften apricots while you are

making the rest of the recipe.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage and

break up into small crumbles and cook until no longer pink and sausage is cooked through.

Remove sausage from pan with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Reserve fat in skillet.

Add the additional tablespoon of butter or olive oil to skillet and add onions, carrots, celery,

garlic and rosemary. Season with salt/pepper and cook over medium heat until vegetables are

softened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

In a very large bowl combine the dried bread, sausage and vegetables. Add almonds,

parmesan, grand mariner and apricots. Toss to combine, then add enough broth to moisten and

add the beaten egg and parsley. Mix lightly to combine. Season, to taste, with salt/pepper if

necessary.

Transfer the stuffing to the prepared dish. Bake until it is heated through and the top is golden

brown, approximately 40 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.