CORNBREAD DRESSING WITH TURKEY SAUSAGE AND APPLES
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound turkey sausage links, casings removed
2 large onions, chopped
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
8 cups pre-baked cornbread (use your favorite brand), crumbled and left out overnight, uncovered to dry
4 cups cubed (1-inch cubes) white sandwich bread, left out overnight, uncovered, to dry
3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth, heated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F, Lightly oil a 15 x 10-inch baking dish.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet. Add the turkey sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with the side of a spoon, until it loses its pink color, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet and heat. In batches, if necessary, add the onions, apples, and celery and cook, stirring often, until the onions are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the poultry seasoning, sage and thyme. Mix with the sausage in the bowl.
Add the cornbread and bread cubes and mix well. Gradually add enough of the broth to moisten the dressing; it should not be soggy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread evenly in the baking dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil. (the dressing can be prepared up to 6 hours ahead and refrigerated.)
Bake until the dressing is heated through, about 30 minutes (about 45 minutes if the dressing has been chilled). If you like a crusty top, remove the foil halfway through baking. Serve hot.