Simmer apple cider in a pan with cinnamon stick, star anise pod, cloves, white pepper corns and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Slice cranberries in half and add to spiced cider mixture. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until cranberries are softened and liquid is slightly viscous. Liquid should coat the back of a spoon.
Pull or dice bread into medium chunks and place on two separate baking sheets. Mix together salt, sage, thyme and white pepper in a small bowl and set aside. Drizzle one tablespoon of oil onto each tray and toss bread with spice mixture, half on each tray. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until stuffing mix is golden brown.
Simmer stock, adding one stick of butter, on low heat. Brown the pork sausage separately in a large pot. To the large pot add celery, apples and garlic and cook until opaque. Fold in the herbed bread mixture, thyme, rosemary and sage. Once incorporated, add spiced cider cranberries mixture.
Combine remaining chicken stock and butter mixture until the stuffing feels wet. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
*Note this mixture will be wet. When you are ready to serve, place stuffing in a greased baking dish and bake for 30 -45 minutes.
Make this recipe ahead of time and freeze in a plastic freezer bag. Will store in refrigerator for up to 3 days or a month in the freezer.
Let the bread sit out for at least one night. Drying the bread is critical for texture and flavor.