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Apple-sausage Stuffing For Wild Turkey

3/4 c Raisins
3 c Sweet apple cider
1 tb Butter
2 Stalks celery; sliced
1 md Onion; peeled and diced
1 lb Sweet fennel sausage; cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 Apples; peeled and diced
3 Leaves fresh sage; finely chopped
4 c Day-old sourdough bread; cubed
1/2 ts Kosher salt
1/4 ts Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the raisins and apple cider in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Immediately remove from the heat and set aside to plump the raisins.

In a large, non-reactive saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the celery and onions, and cook slowly, stirring until softened, about 6-8 minutes.

Add the sausage meat and continue cooking until the meat begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the diced apples and sage, and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Strain the raisins from the apple cider, reserving the cider, and add the raisins to the saucepan. Stir in the bread cubes, season with the salt and pepper, and add the reserved cider. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer the stuffing, covered, for 1/2 hour, stirring after 15 minutes. Serve hot, alongside roast Wild Turkey. Yield: 6-8 servings

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