Watch the top and edges of the brioche so the dressing doesn't get too dark. You can cover with foil until the dressing is moderately warm, then remove the foil to crisp the top.
- 7 to 8 ounces unsalted butter
- 2 loaves brioche, about 1 pound each
- 2 to 3 tablespoons turkey fat reserved from gravy or substitute butter
- 1 pound uncased mild pork breakfast sausage
- 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
- 8 ounces celery, about 6-8 stalks, peeled and finely diced
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 ounces pecans, about 1/2 cup, chopped
- 4 ounces dried cranberries, about 1/2 cup, chopped
- -- Large pinch Bell's Seasoning or other poultry seasoning
- -- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- -- Leaves from 1/2 bunch parsley, minced
- -- Leaves from 1/2 to 1 bunch sage, minced
- -- Leaves from 1/2 to 1 bunch thyme, minced
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350º. Heavily coat a 9-by-13-inch ovenproof casserole dish with 2-3 ounces of the butter; set aside.
Cut brioche into 1-inch cubes.
Add reserved turkey fat or butter to a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add sausage and brown, breaking sausage up into very small pieces. Add 4 ounces butter, cut into pieces. Add onion and celery and cook until soft, stirring frequently. Add the milk, chicken broth and remaining 1 ounce of butter; bring to a simmer. Stir in brioche cubes, pecans and dried cranberries. Season to taste with the poultry seasoning, salt, pepper and herbs.
Firmly pack into the buttered baking dish. Bake until hot and crisp, about 30-40 minutes.