Saturday, November 28, 2015

No Spoon Necessary: Croissant, Caramelized Onion, Sausage, and Pecan Dressing

Ah, the yearly debate.  Is it dressing or is it stuffing?  I think this time around I'm going to go with the definition of stuffing being a bread product stuffed inside the bird, and dressing being a bread product baked outside the bird.  So, dressing.  But honestly?  Who cares?  This stuff is delicious, with all that buttery croissanty goodness, so it doesn't really matter what you call it.  Call it "bread product" if you want.  It won't last long enough to matter anyway.

Croissant, Caramelized Onion, Sausage, and Pecan Dressing
Adapted from No Spoon Necessary blog

7 to 8 large croissants (about 6- to 8-inches long), split in half lengthwise
1 pound pork sausage, removed from casings if necessary
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 yellow onions (about 1 pound total), diced
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1¼ cups toasted pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
½ cup white wine
1¼ cup chicken stock
1 large egg, beaten
¾ teaspoon sea salt, divided
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 2½ quart baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.

Toast the croissants: Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Place croissant halves on prepared baking sheet and bake until slightly crisp, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from oven, set aside and let cool. Once cooled, roughly cut or tear croissants and place in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Cook the sausage: Cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until browned, about 6 to 8 minutes, breaking up into crumbles as you cook. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a paper towel lined plate and allow to drain and cool slightly. Transfer to mixing bowl with croissants.

Caramelize the onions: Pour off all but 1 tablespoon sausage fat, if necessary, and add butter. Once butter is melted, add the onions, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until onions are soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add in the celery and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add in the wine and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until liquid is almost completely absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add in the sage, thyme, rosemary, and stock. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Assemble and Bake: Transfer onion mixture to the mixing bowl with sausage and croissants. Add the egg, pecans, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir until combined. Transfer stuffing to prepared baking dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated throughout.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

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