Cornbread Dressing with Apples, Pecans and Sage

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp. dried sage
½ tsp. dried thyme
2 large onions, diced medium
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup pecans
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cups half and half
1½ cups chicken broth
5 cups cubed country white or sourdough bread or cornbread (crusts removed)*
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and onions, cooking over low heat until onions caramelize (about 15 minutes). Add garlic, sage, and thyme and cook an additional three minutes. (Season with salt and pepper to taste.) Transfer onions to a bowl. Add apple and pecans to skillet, and sauté over medium heat until apples soften (about 5 minutes). Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg, half and half, and chicken stock. Add the cornbread, caramelized onions, apples and pecans, bacon and parsley. Mix well and transfer to a 3-quart (9” x 13”) baking dish.
  4. Bake covered 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking 5-10 minutes or until golden brown and puffed.