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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chicken Sausage and Apple Strata

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In case you're looking for another brunch option for New Year's Day (in addition to those sinfully delicious cinnamon rolls I posted yesterday!), you might want to consider this egg dish. You can put it together today, go out tonight and party, then wake up tomorrow and pop this in the oven. I'm all about the stress-free breakfasts!

This was my mom's addition to our Christmas morning spread. She gets all of the credit for putting this together, though I'm told my dad also gets a shout-out for browning the sausage. I only had to put it in the oven. It's a good thing we had opted for a make-ahead breakfast, because Christmas morning we found ourselves with an incredibly clogged kitchen sink. After an emergency visit from my father in law, a snake (not to be confused with the reptile!), and a very messy kitchen, the clog was eliminated and the remainder of Christmas went off without a hitch!

The recipe is slightly adapted from the original, and while we all really liked this dish, we agreed it could use a bit more of a kick. If you have picky eaters on your hands, I suggest leaving as is. Otherwise, you might want to spice it up with some roasted red peppers or another addition. Don't be afraid by the apple/sausage/egg combination, it all went together nicely!

Chicken Sausage and Apple Strata
adapted from the Chicago Tribune

-2 tsp oil
-1 lb mild pork sausage
-2 large Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
-12 pieces day-old white bread, cubed
-9 eggs, slightly beaten
-3 cups milk
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-3/4 tsp dry mustard
-1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese

1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Brown sausage. Remove and place in a large bowl. Add apples to the skillet and cook until golden brown. Add apples and bread cubes to the bowl with the sausage.
2. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and mustard. Add the egg mixture to the sausage mixture and stir in 1 cup of cheese. Pour mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan and cover. Refrigerate overnight.
3. Heat the oven to 350F. Bake egg dish in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle on remaining cheese and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until cooked through.