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Author Notes: Each year when my daughters were in college they would go out the night before Thanksgiving, come home around dawn, and raid the garage fridge, where my stuffing was. When it was time for me to get dinner ready to serve, that is when I would notice that spoonfuls of stuffing were missing. Last year I prepared a large and small dish, leaving the small dish in the kitchen fridge. My daughter caught me putting away the small dish in the kitchen fridge; and she labeled it "Decoy Stuffing". —Carrie Callegari
- 2 tablespoons bacon fat
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 cups diced onions
- 4 carrots chopped
- 4 celery with leaves chopped
- 1/3 cup parsley chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 loaf of unsliced white bread
- 1 pound Italian Sausage meat, Sweet
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups chicken or turkey stock
- preheat oven to 250. Butter a 13x9x2 baking dish and set aside. Tear bread into 1" pieces, about 10 cups. Scatter bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking dish. Bake, stirring occasionally, until dried out, about 1 hour. Let cool; transfer to a large bowl.
- Preheat oven to 350. Melt the bacon fat and butter. In a skillet saute sausage meat for 5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Add onion to skillet, cook for 5 minutes, add carrots and celery; cook for another 5 minutes. Let cool slightly. Beat eggs and add to broken bread pieces. Add herbs, salt, and pepper. Add vegetables and sausage.
- Stir in 3/4 cup of hot stock. Put mixture into prepared baking dish. Drizzle with remaining stock. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. You can stop here and refrigerate until ready to serve. If serving uncover and bake until top is golden, another 10 minutes .. If reheating, first reheat covered at 350 for 15 minutes, then uncover and add some slices of butter and return to oven uncovered for 5 minutes.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Family's Best Thanksgiving Recipe
More Great Recipes: Side Dishes