¾ cup large-diced dried figs, stems removed
¾ cup dried cranberries
½ cup Calvados or brandy
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1½ cups diced onions
1 cup (½-inch-diced) celery (about 3 stalks)
12 ounces pork sausage, casings removed (sweet, mild or hot - your preference)
1½ tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
3 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix
1½ cups chicken stock
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9x13 casserole dish; set aside.
2. Place the dried figs and cranberries in a small saucepan and pour in the Calvados and ½ cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, crumbling it into small bits with a fork, and saute, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, until cooked and browned. Add the figs and cranberries with the liquid, the chopped rosemary, and pine nuts, and cook for 2 more minutes. Scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.
4. Place the stuffing mix in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, chicken stock, egg, salt and pepper and stir well.
5. Transfer the stuffing to the prepared casserole dish. Bake for 45 minutes.
*Note: The stuffing can be assembled the day before, just cover and refrigerate.