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Heritage Recipe

Lucy Thompson,
Fort Bragg Grange, California

Cranberry - Chestnut Dressing

3 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 pound pork sausage
1 egg, lightly beaten
One 1-pound loaf country-style bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, toasted
2 cups prepared French chestnuts, halved
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat an oven to 350 degree. Butter a 3-quart baking dish.

Warm the chicken stock in a small saucepan over medium heat, until steam starts to rise, (about 3 - 5 minutes). Remove from the heat , add the dried cranberries and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large fry pan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, (about 2 - 3 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl. In the same pan, sauté the sausage, stirring and crumbling with a fork, until lightly browned and cooked through, (about 10 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to the bowl with the vegetables.

In a large bowl, stir the egg while slowly pouring in the stock and cranberries. Add the bread and toss until well blended. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the stock is absorbed, (about 6 -10 minutes. Add the vegetable-sausage mixture, the chestnuts, sage, thyme and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and stir to mix. Transfer baking dish and bake until the dressing is browned and crispy, 45 to 50 minutes.

Makes: 10 to 12 servings

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