cup good quality chicken stock, can be added to aid in moisture as needed
brown-butter-fried sage leaf, for garnish (optional)
Melt butter over medium heat in a cast iron skillet. Add onions and cook over low-medium heat, about 30 minutes, or until the onions go nearly perfectly transparent. Do not get color on the onions. Remove from pan and save.
Add 1-2 T of the butter from the onions to the skillet and cook the apples over medium heat until they have taken on a light golden color and have become fork-tender. Remove and add to the onions.
Cook the sausage over medium until browned, using the back of a wood spoon to break the sausage up as it cooks. Remove cooked sausage and any fat which rendered out and add to the onions/apples.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the french loaf and whole grain cubed breads. Using your hands, loosely crumble the moist cornbread and mix all three to incorporate.
Add the onions, apples, sausage, butter, and reserved fat. Mix bowl contents to evenly moisten all components.
Season with fresh thyme, sage leaf powder, grey sea salt, fresh black pepper, olive oil, and mix. If the panzanella is still too dry, slowly incorporate up to 1 C of good chicken stock. This will vary greatly depending on how dried the bread cubes are. Work a little at a time!
Finally, mix in toasted, lightly crushed pecan halves, and garnish top with brown-butter fried sage leaves.
Serve warm (or cold the next day; who doesn’t love Thanksgiving leftovers?!) and enjoy!