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A Local Thanksgiving


Michael Yezzi and Jennifer Small, Flying Pigs Farm  

Herb Sausage and Mushroom Stuffing

Bill Telepan

Keep the stuffing out of the bird, says Telepan—“the turkey will cook faster.” Telepan likes to include sausage in his recipe, particularly the herb sausage from Flying Pigs Farm. “It complements the mushrooms,” he says. Make the stuffing a day ahead, Telepan says, then take the turkey drippings and drizzle them over the stuffing before baking. “It makes a delicious, crunchy topping.”

Michael Yezzi and Jennifer Small
(Flying Pigs Farm) Shushan; 518-854-3844 or
Michael Yezzi and Jennifer Small were horrified when the land adjoining her parents’ property was bought by a developer with plans to build houses. “We were two of the most unlikely farmers, but we bought the land to keep it out of developers’ hands,” says Small. The couple looked at dairy cattle, sheep—even llamas—but the animals were out of their price range. In 2000, they settled on three 8-week-old pigs at $30 apiece. Today, they raise 500 rare heritage-breed pigs, which produce moist, fatty pork superior to that of factory-farmed pigs.

2 tablespoons butter
11/2 pounds of herb pork sausage
1/2 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 pound sourdough bread, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 10 cups)
3 to 4 cups turkey or chicken broth
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh marjoram

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter over medium-high heat in a skillet, add the sausage, break into pieces, and cook until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, garlic, celery, and a pinch of salt, and sauté, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook for 3 minutes.

Place the bread in a large bowl and stir in the sausage mixture. Add 3 cups broth and marjoram and mix well (if the mixture is still dry, add a little more broth). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Butter a 9-by-11-inch baking dish and transfer the stuffing to the dish, cover with foil, and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for about 45 minutes, until the top is crispy and brown.

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