Arrange bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 9 minutes or until golden. Place in a large bowl.
Remove casings from sausage. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage, and cook for 8 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add sausage to bread cubes, tossing to combine. Set aside.
Return pan to medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot; sauté 10 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Stir in mushrooms; cook 4 minutes. Stir in pear, basil, tarragon, and salt; cook 4 minutes or until pear begins to soften, stirring occasionally. Add pear mixture to bread mixture, tossing gently to combine. Stir in broth and pepper.
Place bread mixture in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; cover with foil. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake stuffing an additional 15 minutes or until top of stuffing is crisp.
Loved this. Made it last year, and it was so good, I made it again 2 weeks later. I omitted the onions (by preference of my sister) and used less chicken broth in the second batch. The flavors were great and the texture almost perfect. Looking forward to it again this Thanksgiving!
My husband and I really enjoyed this dish. It's a great hearty stuffing. One note - I used freshly baked sourdough. It got pretty gummy where it was exposed to the chicken broth at the bottom of the pan. The chunks on top were nice and crispy, however, next time I would cut down on the broth and use day-old bread.
My family loves this Stuffing. This is the third year in a row that I have fixed it, and it was a huge hit again (this year with a whole different crowd). People have started asking in advance for me to make it the following year, which I will surely do!
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