You've sung about "chestnuts roasting on an open fire," but you know what chestnuts are really good for? Stuffing.Chestnuts add a delicious nutty flavor to traditional Thanksgiving stuffing, and this recipe is super easy, which is totally what you want when you're prepping ten other dishes. This recipe came from one of my Aunts a few years ago, and ever since I first tried it, it's become one of my favorite holiday dishes. It doesn't require being cooked inside the turkey, so you don't have to worry about any health issues. For even better stuffing, cut up your bread early in the morning and let it dry out a bit on the counter. It'll better absorb the butter when you start to saute it.This makes a ton of stuffing - enough for 12-16 people - so I made a smaller recipe for these pics. It's a little under half. If you make the full recipe, use a large casserole pan. I like this one from Sur la Table (it's a great size, plus it's pretty!). You should be able to find roasted, shelled chestnuts in the grocery store this time of year, but if you can't find them, Amazon has your back. And if your'e really feeling adventurous, you can roast and shell them yourself. Fair warning that it's not a quick process. Here's a great tutorial on how to roast and peel chestnuts.
- 10 cups coarse, fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 lbs chestnuts or 2 cans cooked whole chestnuts
- 1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)
- 2 cups finely chopped onion
- 2 cups celery
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- salt + fresh ground paper
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the onions and celery and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes or until well saturated with butter. Do not allow to brown.
- Add the bread crumbs, chestnuts, thyme, marjoram, and parsley. Mix well.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Put the dressing in a casserole and bake, covered, for 40 minutes.
This isn't a moist stuffing, it's a bit on the drier side. But if you like it more on the moist side, mix in either 1 or 2 eggs or some chicken stock before you bake it in the oven. The stuffing will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge, covered.