Sausage & Mushroom Pudding

Rethink the traditional and make a batch of this savory pudding for breakfast or your Thanksgiving/Christmas meal.  You can use any type of stale bread for this recipe, yet I prefer to buy a loaf of roasted-garlic peasant bread.  I cube it up, then place it in a 350 degree preheated oven for 20 minutes, turn off the heat and take the bread out after another 40 minutes.  I also prefer to prepare this the night before, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it so the bread has a chance to soak up all the liquid.

1 - 16 oz. loaf peasant bread, cubed and dried out
1 lb. country sausage
10 oz. package fresh, sliced mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
1/4 c. chopped sage
1/4 c. chopped chives
3 cups half & half
6 eggs
3 tbsp. dried or fresh parsley
2 tbsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Fry sausage in a large skillet and add mushrooms and onion after it has browned and rendered most of its' fat.  Saute mushrooms and onions until they have released their juices and are softened, roughly 5-7 minutes.   Remove from heat and set aside.

Arrange dried bread into a 9X13 pan or desired pan of choosing.  Sprinkle chopped sage and chives over the top, followed by evenly distributing the sausage mixture on top as well.

In a blender combine half & half, eggs, parsley, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper - blending to combine thoroughly.  Pour over mixture in pan and gently stir to evenly distribute.  Cover with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator overnight.

Remove from refrigerator one hour before baking to take the chill off.  Cover with foil and bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Remove foil and place back into oven for 15 more minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest for ten minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

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