For many years, I have spent Thanksgiving week hunting on a friend’s ranch and I always enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with his family after the morning hunt. Every year, Aunt Jan bakes her stuffing in muffin trays. This makes for crisper, crunchier edges and less soggy stuffing.
I’ve created my own stuffing muffins by adding homemade Italian venison sausage and fresh herbs. These muffins are the perfect side for any holiday meal, can be a quick breakfast of champs, or make a delicious cold hunting snack.
- 1 lb. Italian bread, diced and dried
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 1 medium yellow onion, small diced
- 2 cups celery, chopped in half moons
- ½ tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped fine
- ½ tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped fine
- ½ tbsp. fresh sage, chopped fine
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 lb. Italian venison sausage
- 2 ½ cups light broth
- 2 eggs
Also works with
- You can either purchase diced dried Italian bread chunks or dice and dry your own. To dry your own, start by heating the oven to 250°F. Tear or cut a large loaf of French bread into 1-inch squares. Lightly oil two rimmed baking trays, scatter the soft bread pieces in a single layer, and place in the oven. Bake them for about 1 hour, turning or stirring each tray a few times throughout the hour. Once the bread is completely dried, remove the trays from the oven and allow them to cool, then pour the bread into a large mixing bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the chopped onion and celery. Sauté over medium high heat until they become translucent, approximately 10 minutes.
- In a medium skillet, brown the Italian sausage over medium heat. Be sure to chop and separate it as much as possible to create small pieces. The meat does not need to be fully cooked, just browned enough to separate.
- Once the onions and celery are cooked, add 1 cup of the broth and fresh thyme, rosemary, sage, and black pepper. Remove from heat and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the browned sausage, mix well, and allow to cool. Lightly grease 2 muffin trays to make 12 to 18 muffins total.
- In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk the 2 eggs with the remaining 1 ½ cups of broth.
- Add the dried bread chunks to the cooled vegetables and sausage in the large bowl. Fold all the ingredients together. Add the egg and broth and fold in until everything is incorporated.
- Generously fill each muffin cup with the stuffing mix. Place in the oven at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are brown and crispy.