Sausage Stuffing with Cherries and Cocoa Nibs
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 – 1 pound loaf of day old sourdough bread, cut into 1” cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound pork sausage
3 onions, medium diced
4 sticks celery, medium diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon toasted and ground fennel seed
1 teaspoon toasted and ground coriander
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup cocoa nibs
4 large eggs
1 – 1 1/2 cups turkey stock
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Heat oven to 350°F.
Generously butter a 4 quart baking dish. Toast bread until golden, 15 to 25 minutes.
Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook sausage, until browned; breaking up lumps, about 5 minutes.
Transfer sausage to a large bowl.
Add remaining butter to skillet and heat over medium. Add onions, celery, garlic, fennel and coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown lightly, 12 to 15 minutes.
Add vegetables to sausage with bread, cherries, and cocoa nibs, and toss to mix well.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, then whisk in stock, cream, and parsley, and pour over stuffing. Stir stuffing well, then spread it in baking dish.
Increase oven temperature to 425°F. Cover stuffing tightly with foil and bake until hot throughout, 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove foil and bake until top is golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes more.