Chestnut Stuffing

  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 Tbsp snipped fresh sage or 1 tsp poultry seasoning or ground sage
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 8 cups dry bread cubes
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup chicken broth or water
  1. With a knife, cut an X in the shells of 1 pound fresh chestnuts (3 cups). Spread chestnuts on a large baking sheet. Roast chestnuts in a 400° oven for 15 minutes; cool. Peel and coarsely chop chestnuts.  (or use one 8-ounce jar or one 10-ounce can whole, peeled chestnuts, drained and chopped.
  2. In a small saucepan, cook celery and onion in butter until tender, but not brown; remove from heat, stir in chestnuts, sage, pepper, and 1/8 tsp salt. Place dry bread cubes in a very large bowl; add the onion mixture. Drizzle with enough broth to moisten, tossing lightly to combine. Use to stuff one 8 to 10 pound turkey. Place any remaining stuffing in a 1 quart casserole. (If necessary to moisten, add more liquid to stuffing in casserole.) Cover and chill.
  3. Bake stuffing in casserole alongside turkey about the last 35-40 minutes of roasting time or until heated through. Or place all of stuffing in a 2 quart casserole. Bake, covered, in a 325º oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until heated through.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

From: New Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook 12th edition

Gray:  This turned out delicious!  I have been wanting to make this dressing (stuffing) for a long time.  My grandparents had a chestnut tree in their front yard when I was little and I always enjoyed the chestnuts.  The chestnut stuffing is a variation of the giblet stuffing in the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  I left out the stuff about the giblets, and only put in the info on the chestnuts.

Except for peeling the chestnuts, this was an easy recipe.  The chestnuts were very difficult for us to work with, but I got a little better at peeling them towards the end, and it started to go a little faster.  If we make this again, I would probably try canned chestnuts and see how much different they taste to decide if it is worth the extra trouble to peel the fresh chestnuts.  (If anyone has any tips on peeling the chestnuts, please leave us a comment.)  This is one of several recipes coming up are focused on Thanksgiving and Christmas cooking.

Katie: This was very good stuffing! I really enjoyed it with the freshly made bread cubes, and the chestnuts gave it a distinct flavor. There were chestnut trees growing in my yard as a child as well, and my dad would peel them and we would eat them raw. These chestnuts tasted a little different than I remember, but we never roasted the ones from the yard. These chestnuts were very hard to peel, so I am not very keen to make chestnut stuffing again, but I think this recipe would still be delicious without the chestnuts! After a little belated research, I think there were a few things we could have done to try to ease the chestnut peeling:

1. Obtain fresher chestnuts. Ours were from the store so we do not know how long they had been there. We tried to get them at our local farmers market, but were told it was a bad year for chestnuts around here.

2. Possibly roast them slightly longer. Ours still had a bit of a crunchy texture, so they may not have been quite done. A lot of recipes I read called for roasting them 20 minutes in a 425° oven.

3. Peeled them sooner. The recipe said to let them cool, so we waited a good half hour until they were completely cool. I think that was a mistake!

If you have any suggestions on peeling chestnuts, let us know!

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