Saturday, December 05, 2009

Even Better Thanksgiving Dressing

Even Better Thanksgiving Dressing

Last year I made some fantastic dressing for Thanksgiving. Everyone declared my success and sang out fanfares from the rooftops.

So, what is a creative cook to do when she has already been declared Queen of the Thanksgiving Dressing? I decided not to repeat the past, but to blaze a different path. Actually, I tweaked the old recipe, but the new concoction garnered such raves that I can only call this...

Even Better Thanksgiving Dressing

1 butternut squash, chopped into large chunks
1 sweet onion, chopped into large chunks
1 pound Mayo’s sausage from Lenoir City TN (this is a smoked ham-like sausage that I’ve only found in TN)
1 round loaf of Hawaiian Sweet Bread, torn into pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup chicken broth (approximately)
Olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place butternut squash and onion in an oven proof dish. Drizzle with olive oil and toss. Sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper and toss. Roast the butternut squash and onion for 40-50 minutes until tender and beginning to brown. Remove from oven, transfer to a bowl and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. While the roasted vegetables are cooling fry the sausage and cook until done, breaking up the sausage into tiny chunks as it cooks (if the sausage is uncooperative, cook, cool, and then break into tiny chunks). When the sausage is just done, place the mixture in a bowl and set aside to cool. In a bowl large enough to accommodate all of the ingredients, add the torn bread pieces, sausage, and cranberries. Dice up the roasted vegetables into smaller chunks and add to mixture. Pour in about half of the broth and begin mixing the ingredients with your hands. Add the rest of the broth as needed until all of the bread is moist and everything begins sticking together. Do not over saturate mixture. Place the dressing into a 9” x 13” glass or ceramic baker. Bake for about 30 – 45 minutes. Serve hot.

I truly believe the sausage is the key to this dressing, but the roasted butternut squash added another dimension to this holiday staple.

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