Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chestnut Stuffing with Leeks & Apples


When I was a kid, my grandmother would serve roasted chestnuts after dinner this time of year. They frequently capped off all of our special gatherings...especially Thanksgiving & Christmas. I think I was probably the only kid who actually liked them. My husband's family has the same tradition & to this day I still love 'em.
I made this stuffing for the first time last year. I chose this recipe because we were hosting Thanksgiving & one of our guests was a vegetarian {but, really I just liked the idea of having a stuffing with chestnuts in it!}. If you love chestnuts, you will love this recipe...if not, not so much. But, the other leading flavors...the leeks & tart apples make it worth a try.
I halved the recipe here, but it can easily be doubled, if you're serving a large crowd.

Begin with 3 cups of cubed, white sandwich bread. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees & lay the bread out on a baking sheet. Toast for 8-10 minutes, or until mostly dried. As an alternative, you can also leave the bread out at room temperature for 24 hours to let it dry. Transfer to a mixing bowl & set aside.

Raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Melt 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 cups sliced leeks {white & light green parts} & 1 rib of celery {chopped}. Cover & cook, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes, or until the leeks are tender.

Add in 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves, 1 Granny Smith apple {peeled & chopped}, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & some freshly ground black pepper {to taste}. Cook, covered, for an additional 5 minutes.

Next, you will need 7 ounces of roasted chestnuts {coarsely chopped}. The recipe calls for the bottled variety, which is what I used here. They can be a bit pricey {a 7 oz. bottle is about $10-$12}. You can opt to roast your own instead, if desired.

Add the leek mixture to the mixing bowl with the bread. Stir in the chestnuts, 1/2 cup of heavy cream & a 1/4 cup of minced fresh parsley. Check for seasoning & add a bit more salt & pepper, as desired.

Transfer the stuffing to a buttered casserole dish & bake for 20 minutes, or until heated through & the top is golden brown {For a larger batch, increase the cooking time to 30 minutes}.

Serve right away, or reheat later. To reheat, cover the stuffing in foil & bake at 350 degrees until hot.

Chestnut Stuffing with Leeks & Apples

Adapted from Gourmet magazine, November 2008
Serves 4-6 {This recipe can easily be doubled for a big crowd}
Roasted chestnuts in a bottle are quite pricey. Although time consuming, you can save money by roasting your own. The bottled chestnuts can be found in most specialty grocery stores.

3 cups cubed white sandwich bread, crusts removed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups sliced leeks {white & light green parts}
1 rib celery, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled & diced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper {to taste}
7-8 ounces bottled roasted chestnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay the cubed bread out on a baking sheet & bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until mostly dried. As an alternative, you can also leave the bread out at room temperature for 24 hours to let it dry. Transfer to a mixing bowl & set aside.
Raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks & celery. Cover & cook, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes, or until the leeks are tender. Add in the thyme leaves, apple, salt & pepper. Cook, covered, for an additional 5 minutes.
Add the leek mixture to the mixing bowl with the bread. Stir in the chestnuts, cream & parsley. Check for seasoning & add a bit more salt & pepper, as desired.
Transfer the stuffing to a buttered casserole dish & bake for 20 minutes, or until heated through & the top is golden brown {For a larger batch, increase the cooking time to 30 minutes}.
Click here for the printable recipe.

9 comments:

Angharad said...

Oh this looks amazing! My husband is looking for a good stuffing recipe for this year...I'll be passing this on! Thanks.

Joanne said...

Oh how I wish my parents would let me make the stuffing this year. But no. They want stuffing. From a box. Would it be wrong for me to make this for myself and eat it for dinner? I hope not.

*Simply Colette* said...

Looks tasty! I may have to try this for this holiday!

-nicolette

http://www.simplycolette.blogspot.com
www.photographygetaways.com

smokinchestnut said...

I'm putting this on the Thanksgiving menu! Looks absolutely amazing.

Maria said...

I really wish my family was more keen on eating stuffing like this for the holidays because this dish looks so good I would really love to try it.

Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather said...

Yum this looks delicious! Usually I'm not a huge stuffing fan becaues it's the plain simple kind, but I could get used to something like this. Thanks for sharing :)

Medifast Coupons said...

Love your stuffing recipe, have printed and posted on the fridge for my stuffing making husband, lets see if I can get him to make your stuffing.

Judy said...

This looks so good. I am thinking of doing a turkey breast for Christmas and definitely want to try this stuffing recipe!

Renee said...

This is my absolute favorite meal that we have at my Thanksgiving dinner. I've made it for the past 3 years and it's something I look forward to every Thanksgiving! I took out the apples this year because I prefer the taste without them. The leeks add an amazing flavor. Highly recommend this recipe!

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