Ali Larter's Rustic Sausage and Fennel Stuffing

Ali Larter shares one of her favorite recipes from her new book, Kitchen Revelry: A Year of Festive Menus from My Home to Yours. And this delicious holiday side dish has a decadent ingredient — half and half!

Serves 12 to 16

Ingredients: 

• 12 cups of 1-inch-cubed sourdough bread, crust on
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 3 pounds organic sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
• 12 tablespoons (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
• 4 1/2 cups chopped onions (from about 3 large onions)
• 3 cups chopped fresh fennel
• 9 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
• 1 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1 and 1/2 teaspoons freshly-ground black pepper
• 6 large eggs, beaten
• 1 and 1/2 cups half and half, divided
• 1 and 1/2 cups finely-grated Parmigiano cheese
• 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
• 3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions: 

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on two large, rimmed baking sheets.
• Bake the bread cubes until lightly toasted, switching the positions of the baking sheets halfway through baking. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes total.
• Remove the bread cubes from the oven. Set aside.
• 
Heat 1 and 1/2   tablespoons olive oil in a heavy, large skillet over medium-high heat.
• Working in batches, add the sausages to the skillet and sauté until browned and cooked through, breaking up with the back of a fork or spoon, 5 to 7 minutes per batch. Transfer to a bowl large enough to hold the entire stuffing. (Do not clean the skillet).
 

• Melt the butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat.
• Add the onions, fennel, garlic, salt and pepper, and sauté until the onions are golden brown, stirring frequently, 10 to 12 minutes.
• Transfer vegetable mix to the bowl with the sausage. Mix in the toasted bread cubes.
• 
Whisk the eggs, 1 cup half and half, Parmesan, broth and parsley in a medium bowl to blend.
• Pour the egg mixture over the sausage-and-bread mixture and toss gently to coat.
• Transfer the stuffing to two 9x9 baking pans. Drizzle the remaining 1/2 
cup half and half over the stuffing.
• 
Bake the stuffing, covered with foil, for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake, uncovered, until the top begins to brown, about 20 minutes longer.

Related Links:
• Kale Salad with Pecorino and Truffle Vinaigrette
Vegan Chocolate Truffles
Mashed Potatoes with Wild Mushroom Gravy