Take an unconventional route for this holiday stuffing, opting for tangy, chewy sourdough bread as a base. Meaty shiitake mushrooms, chopped kale, sausage, sage, and golden raisins balance the bread’s assertive flavor. To simplify the cooking, we roast the vegetables and sausage in the oven while we toast the bread into croutons. Then we toss the lot with just enough broth and eggs to keep it moist and cohesive. Dotting the top of the casserole with butter and leaving it uncovered for the last fifteen minutes of baking creates a crisp, beautifully browned top. For a meatless variation, omit the sausage and use vegetarian broth. We'll need two rimmed baking sheets for this recipe.
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 pounds sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
12 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced 1/2 inch thick
8 ounces kale, stemmed and chopped coarse
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 13x9-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter. Grease one 15x1-inch sheet
of aluminum foil with 1/2 tablespoon butter. Combine raisins and water in bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Set aside and let raisins soften for at least 15 minutes; drain.
2. Meanwhile, toss bread, 1/4 cup oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in large bowl; spread evenly on rimmed baking sheet. Combine mushrooms, kale, onion, garlic, sage, remaining 1/4 cup oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in now-empty bowl; spread on second rimmed baking sheet. Break sausage into 1/2 inch pieces and distribute evenly over vegetables.
3. Bake bread mixture on upper rack and vegetable mixture on lower rack until bread is golden brown but still tender inside and vegetables and sausage are golden, about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through baking. Transfer sheets to wire racks and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Combine toasted bread and vegetable mixture in large bowl.
4. Stir broth, eggs, and drained raisins into bread-vegetable mixture until liquid is absorbed. Transfer dressing to prepared dish. Cut remaining 2 tablespoons butter into 1/4 inch pieces and sprinkle evenly over dressing. Cover tightly with prepared foil.
5. Bake dressing on lower rack for 15 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until top is golden and crisp, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
To make ahead:
Dressing can be made through step 4 and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Increase covered baking time by 5 minutes.
Copyright 2016 America's Test Kitchen. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
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