Cornbread - Sausage Stuffing With Apples

My own recipe. This makes A LOT of stuffing -- 12 to 14 servings. If you have a lot of leftovers, use it to make my Thanksgiving Leftovers Breakfast Casserole.
You can also freeze half and reheat for another meal. 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 

1 1/2 sticks butter
2 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
1 cup finely chopped celery
3 Granny Smith apples, cored and coarsely chopped (I don't remove the skin)
1 pound lightly seasoned bulk sausage (I use Jimmy Dean's breakfast sausage with sage)
3 cups coarsley crumbled cornbread
3 cups coarsley crumbled whole-wheat bread
3 cups coarsley crumbled French bread
2 teaspoons dried Thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1 cup dried cranberries, or dried cherries
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups.chicken stock. (You might want to use three if you like super moist dressing)
2 eggs

Melt the butter in a skillet. Add chopped celery and onions and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes. Crumble the sausage and add it to the skillet. Continue cooking over medium heat stirring the ingredients until the sausage is lightly browned. Transfer the ingredients to a large mixing bowl.

Add all of the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl except the chicken stock. Gently combine. 
Whisk the eggs and chicken stock together and pour half into the dressing. Give it a toss. Add the remaining chicken stock and toss to combine. 

Pour the stuffing into a large buttered casserole dish. (This makes so much that I purchase a throw-away aluminum pan). Whisk the eggs and chicken stock together. Place the pan in the center rack of the oven. 

Bake the stuffing for 30 to 45 minutes. (I like my stuffing a little dry so I check the stuffing as it cooks and add more stock if necessary. If you add more stock, stir the dressing so it doesn't get mushy.)

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