Sherry’s Chestnut Stuffing
Sherry Brennan has shared her fabulous Chesnut Stuffing with us. “It will take you some time and patience to peel the chestnuts for this recipe,” she says, “but it’s worth it – this stuffing is sensational!”
- 1 pound chestnuts
- 4 cups chicken stock (eyeball it)
- 4 cups water (eyeball it)
- Turkey neck and giblets
- 2 onions, one chopped, one minced, divided
- 3-4 celery stalks, divided
- 1 bay leaf
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- A few springs of fresh thyme
- A few peppercorns
- 2 packages bread chunks, one white and one whole wheat
- 1 stick butter, melted
Pre-heat the oven to 250°F.
Cut an “X” in the top of each chestnut, then spread them on a dry baking sheet and bake in the oven until fragrant and roasted, about an hour.
Pour the chestnuts into a pot and cover with half chicken stock and half water so that the liquid is about about an inch over the top of the nuts. Add the turkey neck and giblets, chopped onion, two of the celery stalks, bay leaf, garlic, thyme and peppercorns. Boil for about 1 hour more over low heat, then remove the chestnuts to a bowl of cool water. Strain and reserve the liquid, turkey meat/giblets and vegetables.
When the chestnuts are cool, do battle with them to remove their hard shells and inner skins. Allow about two hours to accomplish this feat! Use a sharp knife and be careful not to injure yourself. Mash the chestnuts with a potato masher. Go ahead, take out all your frustrations on them – they deserve it after all that work!
Sauté half of the minced onion (or more) with a stalk or two of celery in butter. Add the chestnuts, any vegetables and minced turkey meat/giblets you have reserved and all the liquid from cooking the chestnuts to a large bowl full of dried white and whole wheat bread chunks (you can buy them or make your own). Add a stick of melted butter. Mix thoroughly and add more liquid (chicken stock and/or water), as needed.
Bake the stuffing inside your turkey or in a buttered baking dish in an oven pre-heated to 325°F for 45-60 minutes, as you wish.