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Sausage Stuffin' Muffins

(Makes 12 muffins)
Sausage Stuffin' Muffins

5 cups stale bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 Italian sausages, meat removed from casings
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
1-1/4 cups chicken broth
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoon melted butter, for brushing


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until dried out.  Transfer the bread to a large bowl and set aside to cool.  Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

In a large skillet, melt the 6 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and celery; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute.  Transfer to the bowl with the bread and mix to combine.  Wipe out the skillet and add the sausage meat.  Cook the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until the meat is just beginning to brown.  Add it to the bowl with the bread.  Add the parsley and thyme and season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the chicken broth and eggs; mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated.

Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with butter.
Place a scoop full of the stuffing mixture into each cup of the muffin tin.
Brush the top of each muffin with some of the melted butter.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the foil, raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and bake for 10 minutes more, or until the tops are golden.
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