Ingredients:9×13″ pan of regular cornbread (I usually make this buttermilk cornbread recipe 3 days beforehand.
16-19 ounces Italian sausage, sweet or mild
1 large onion, finely chopped4 stalks celery, finely chopped1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped 3/4 c. chicken broth1/4 c. melted salted butterSage (2 teaspoons rubbed sage or 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage)Rosemary (1/2 teaspoon dry or 1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary leaves)Thyme (1/2 teaspoon dry or 1 teaspoon thyme leaves stripped from the woody stems) 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more if necessary)Tabasco sauce to taste
Instructions:Make the cornbread, 2-3 days beforehand, and leave on the counter to dry out.
Preheat oven to 375.
Crumble the pan of cornbread into a very large bowl. Set aside.
*(Note this step can be done 1-2 days ahead of time and then just refrigerate the pre-cooked sausage and the onion/celery/apple mixture). Crumble the Italian sausage into a hot skillet and brown it over medium heat. Transfer the crumbled sausage to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. If there are 2 tablespoons of rendered sausage drippings in the pan, add the chopped celery, apples, and onions. If not, add enough olive oil to have around 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan and add the chopped ingredients when the oil is hot. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and fragrant.
Add the onion/celery/apple mixture to the crumbled cornbread. Add the sausage and chopped herbs and toss until combined. Add the chicken broth and melted butter and toss to combine well. Season with salt and Tabasco to taste.
Press the cornbread mixture into a 9×13″ pan and bake for 30-40 minutes in the preheated oven or until the top is golden brown. Serves about 12.