1 lb hot sausage
1 lb sage (or regular) sausage
2 cans (4-oz each) water chestnuts, drained and chopped
2 onions, minced (divided)
2-3 cups celery, thinly sliced (with leaves)
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
5 cups chicken stock
1½ cubes butter
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 tbsp parsley flakes
2 tsp marjoram flakes
1 tsp ground sage (add an additional ½ tsp sage if not using sage sausage)
¾ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp oregano leaves
16 cups bread, cubed and dried1
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
pistachios (or pine nuts, roasted)
pepitas (optional)

Place both sausages in large sauté pan and brown; add water chestnuts.  Place browned sausage mixture in a large mixing bowl and set aside, reserving drippings in sauté pan.

Add 1½ onions and celery to sauté pan with a small pat of butter and cook until onions are translucent. Place celery mixture in a separate bowl and set aside. Add remaining onion, mushrooms, and a pat of butter to sauté pan.  Sauté until mushrooms have release a significant amount of liquid.  Pour liquid into a separate bowl and reserve.  Continue to sauté mushrooms to desired doneness; add to celery mixture.

In a large stock pot, combine liquid from mushrooms plus enough chicken stock to total 5 cups of liquid; add butter.  Stir in Italian Seasoning (or substitute Herbes de Provence), parsley flakes,  marjoram, sage, black pepper, and oregano.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in onion and celery mixture; return to boil.  Remove from heat; immediately add bread crumbs and carefully stir to moisten.  Cover with lid and allow the stuffing to sit for five to ten minutes.

After liquid is absorbed2, stir in all remaining ingredients, reserving some of the dried cranberries, pistachios (or pine nuts), and pepitas (optional).  Place stuffing in two 9×13 pans and heat under broiler until the top is slightly browned.  Top with reserved dried cranberry mixture.

1 For best results use baguettes.
2 If too moist, prior to stirring in final ingredients, gently spread stuffing on a baking sheet keeping bread as intact as possible. Place in a 350º oven and allow to dry to desired moisture level, stirring occasionally.

(Updated 12/27/2023)

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