Chestnut and sausage stuffing

Chef: Darina Allen
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Chestnut and sausage stuffing
This traditional stuffing for the Thanksgiving turkey is well worth a little extra effort. I was fortunate enough to meet Chuck Williams, a very  gracious and scholarly man, founder of the Williams-Sonoma company and cookbook author and editor, and he shared this delicious recipe with me.
 

450g loaf of French bread (with crust)

25g butter

Medium onion, chopped

2 stalks of celery, finely chopped

225g fresh pork sausage meat

110g minced beef (optional)

450–775ml milk or chicken stock

450g fresh chestnuts, peeled, roasted and chopped, or 1 x 560g tin unsweetened chestnuts

1/2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

3/4 tbsp chopped fresh thyme

3/4 tbsp chopped fresh sage

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Tear the bread into small chunks. Spread on a baking sheet to dry overnight. 

Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F / Gas Mark 5 and generously grease a baking dish.

Heat the butter in a saucepan and sauté the onion and celery over a medium heat until transparent, about 2 minutes.

Remove with a spoon to a bowl and reserve.

In the same pan, cook the sausage and minced beef, stirring until finely crumbled and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Soak the bread in as much milk as it will absorb. Add the onion and celery, the meat mixture, the chestnuts and the fresh herbs.

Season with salt and pepper. Mix well.

Put the dressing in the well-buttered baking dish and bake for 1–11/2 hours, or until nicely browned (or stuff it directly into a turkey just before placing the turkey in the oven).

Roasted Chestnuts

Preheat the oven to 230°C / 450°F / Gas Mark 8.

With a sharp paring knife or short-bladed chestnut knife, cut a 1cm cross on the flat side of each chestnut, cutting through the shell.

Spread the nuts out on a baking pan, pour in 1cm of water and bake for 15–20 minutes, until the shells open.

When cool enough to handle, peel the chestnuts. Be sure to do this while they are still warm.

You will probably need 900g of chestnuts for 450g of shelled meats.

Serves
8-10

Preparation Time
15 minutes

Cooking Time
30 minutes

Main ingredients
Beef, Pork, Bread

Recipe Type
Entertaining, Family Dinners, Side Dish

Level of Difficulty
Moderately Easy

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