by Chef Laura Frankel, author of Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes (Wiley)
Chestnuts are one of those foods that baffle many cooks. They look so appealing and yet represent a culinary puzzle. The method I use below, to cook and remove them from their shell, is easy and foolproof. The combination of these flavors is rich, nutty and slightly sweet.
To Prepare the Chestnuts:
1 pound chestnuts
1/2 cup of water
With a sharp knife cut a small “X” into the shell of each chestnut. Place the chestnuts in a large bowl and toss them lightly with oil. Place the chestnuts into a large sauté pan and place over medium heat. Stir the chestnuts occasionally to prevent too much browning. After about 10 minutes add ½ cup of water to the pan and cover. Lower the heat and allow the chestnuts to steam for about 15-20 minutes until they are quite tender. Remove the chestnuts and allow them to cool. Peel the chestnuts.
For the Stuffing
1 2-pound favorite loaf of bread, cut into 1 inch cubes (I use homemade focaccia)
2 medium Spanish onions, diced
6 celery ribs, diced
3 medium apples (I like Honey Crisp), cored and diced, but not peeled
3 garlic cloves, minced
Cooked turkey giblets, chopped
Turkey neck meat, chopped
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, cut into chiffonade (thin ribbons)
1 pound chestnuts, roasted, peeled and chopped
2 cups turkey or chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper
Toss the bread cubes with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toast the bread cubes until they are browned and crispy (about 12 minutes).
Place a Dutch oven or large sauce pan, lightly coated with olive oil, over medium high heat. Sauté the onions until they are caramelized and quite brown (about 10 minutes). Add the celery, apples and garlic and continue sautéing until all the vegetables and apples are lightly browned and softened.
Add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine and bake 45-60 minutes until the top is golden brown and crispy.
Recipes: Side Dishes, Stuffing, Chestnut, Poultry, Kosher