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Stovetop Barley Stuffing with Sausage and Apricots

This stuffing can stand alone as a quick and tasty casserole, or be served alongside roast turkey, chicken, lamb or pork. Toasting the barley before adding the liquids enhances its nutty flavour.

1 lb (500 g) fresh turkey sausage
1 small onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (250 mL) pot or pearl barley
2 tbsp (30 mL) poultry seasoning
1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme
2 cups (500 mL) low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup (250 mL) apple juice
½ cup (125 mL) chopped dried apricots
¼ cup (60 mL) toasted pecans

Remove casings from sausage and place in a Dutch oven or large skillet with a lid. Over medium heat, brown sausage, breaking it up into large pieces. Remove sausage to a platter and set aside. Drain fat, but do not clean skillet. In skillet, cook onion, celery and garlic just until soft. Add barley and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until barley is lightly toasted. Stir in poultry seasoning and thyme. Pour in broth and apple juice.

Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add sausage, apricots and pecans. Continue to simmer until all liquid is absorbed and barley is tender, about 20 minutes.

Makes 4 cups (1 L) stuffing, or serves 4 as a casserole dish.

Nutritional Information (per 1 cup/250 mL serving):

Calories: 515
Protein: 28 g
Carbohydrate: 65 g
Fibre: 11 g
Sugars: 19 g
Fat: 18 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 70 mg
Sodium: 843 mg
Potassium: 484 mg