Fennel, Olive and Sausage Stuffing with Creamy Goat Cheese

Description

Prep Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes A sophisticated Mediterranean twist to traditional stuffing: crusty light ciabatta bread is partnered with sausage, fresh fennel and olives, then enhanced with the sunny flavors of thyme and lemon. The bright fresh taste of award winning Ile de France® goat cheese adds rich flavor and creamy texture.
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Ingredients

At a glance
Serves
8 to 10
8 cups 3/4-inch cubes ciabatta or other light crusty bread (10 to 12 oz.)
1/4 cup olive oil
8 oz. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
3 cups chopped fennel (1 large bulb)
1-1/2 cups chopped onion (2 medium)
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dry) 1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp. grated lemon rind
1 log (10.5 oz.) Ile de France® Goat Cheese, crumbled (2-1/2 cups), divided
3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

Methods/steps

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. On two baking sheets, arrange bread in single layer. Bake until dry but not toasted, about 10 minutes; cool.

2. In large skillet over medium high heat, add oil and sausage. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking up large pieces, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add fennel, onion, and thyme. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Turn into large bowl; stir in wine, broth, and lemon rind. Add bread and toss well. Add 2 cups cheese, olives and tomatoes, and toss lightly just to combine.

4. Turn into greased 13” x 9” baking dish; cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake uncovered until melted, about 5 minutes.

Additional Tips

TIP: Bread cubes can be baked one day ahead. Cover loosely and store at room temperature. If you prefer a moister stuffing, increase chicken broth up to 1 cup.

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