This weekend, I received an email from my young friend, Molly. Molly is the same age as my oldest son and she is already a great cook. She offered to share two of her signature recipes for the Thanksgiving season with us and I’m delighted! Since I’ve never made Chestnut Dressing to accompany a Thanksgiving turkey, I was very excited to learn more about this. Molly writes:
This stuffing recipe is one that I found in a “Taste of Home” cookbook about 7 years ago. I was fourteen at the time, and it was my first attempt at making stuffing. My family loved it, and I have been in charge of the stuffing for Thanksgiving dinner ever since! I like this recipe since it starts with the basic stuffing recipe, but add the chestnuts and stuffing and you have something special!
- 1 pound chestnuts
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 1 package (16 ounces) bulk pork sausage, cooked and drained
- 1 package (16 ounces) crushed seasoned stuffing
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
- 1 cup water
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, bring 2 qts. of water to a boil. Cut an “X” in each chestnut; drop into boiling water. Return to a boil; cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; peel outer shell and inner layer. Coarsely chop chestnuts; set aside. In a large skillet, saute celery and onions in butter until tender. Transfer to a large bowl; add sausage, stuffing, and chestnuts. Add broth and water; toss to mix. Place into a greased 9×13 pan, covered, and bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes. Then uncover and bake for 10 minutes until the top is browned.
This is truly my favorite dish at Thanksgiving, and I always look forward to making it on Thanksgiving morning. I find that the chestnuts add a slightly sweet flavor, and a bit of a crunch. It’s fantastic!
Thanks, Molly! I’m excited to live in a part of the country where chestnuts are common enough that people gather them up and share them with friends! I have been warned by a different friend that it’s very important to make sure that you’re not gathering buckeyes because those are poisonous.
If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, leave out the sausage and substitute vegetable broth or warm water for the chicken broth.