Notes: If you use a mix for the cornbread, you'll need 1 box (13 oz.). The dressing can be made up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill. If stuffing turkey, just before roasting, fill neck and body cavities with dressing. Extra dressing can be heated, covered, in a microwave oven on full power (100%) for 5-minute intervals until steaming. Roast turkey as directed. If desired, add fresh or dried herbs such as thyme to roasting juices and baste bird with them as it cooks.
Makes about 3 3/4 quarts (more than enough for a 16- to 20-lb. bird); 12 to 16 servings
1. Crumble the sausage into a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Stir often until sausage is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a large bowl.
2. Discard all but 2 tablespoons fat in pan. Add onions to pan and stir often until limp, about 5 minutes. Add onions to sausage.
3. Add celery, cornbread, apricots, cranberries, eggs, sage, and butter and stir to mix well, adding just enough broth to lightly moisten dressing.
4. Spoon dressing into a shallow 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole and cover.
5. Bake in a 325° oven until hot, about 25 minutes (if chilled, 50 to 60 minutes). Then uncover and bake until top is lightly browned, 15 to 25 minutes more. Add salt and pepper to taste.