Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chestnut and Apple Stuffing

Last year, I never got around to sharing what was my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner: the stuffing. My sister and my dad are picky eaters so it can be difficult to find something that will satisfy everybody's taste buds. My dad, especially, because he is not quite accustomed to American flavors. I looked through at least 100 stuffing recipes before I stumbled upon one from Martha Stewart. I definitely knew I was going to be making this as soon as I looked through the ingredients: simple flavors featuring a couple of our favorite ingredients, chestnuts and apples. My sister also requested no cranberries, which is not in this stuffing recipe. I left out the sage to fit our tastes even more. Last year, I steamed the chestnuts, but roasting them might be a better option. If you do steam, don't let the chestnuts get too cool because it will become more difficult to peel.

Chestnut and Apple Stuffing

I'm really in love with this stuffing, but I'll have to wait until next year to make it again. Sadly, for Thanksgiving this year, I'm not with my family. Five days off didn't seem like a long enough break for me to drive 14 hours for a round trip. I did get to see my mom and sister two weekends ago, which was nice. I was invited to a family dinner tomorrow so I won't be totally stranded on a holiday. I might have to excuse myself early though because I'd like to catch some of the good deals happening at Walmart. I cannot believe Black Friday deals are starting so early, but I guess that makes it easier. I don't even have to go to sleep!

Chestnut and Apple Stuffing [Makes 8 servings]
Adapted from Martha Stewart

2 tbsp butter, plus more at room temperature for pan and aluminum foil
1 lb Italian bread, torn into bite-size pieces
1 medium onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 large Gala or Fuji apples, peeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges, and cut crosswise into thin slices
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
5 oz cooked chestnuts, coarsely crumbled
3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375F. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish; set aside. Arrange bread in a single layer on two rimmed baking sheets. Bake until dried, rotating sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and celery; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add apples; cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; reserve saucepan.

In same saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Remove from heat; set aside.

To onion-apple mixture, add bread, chestnuts, and eggs. Season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Add half the broth and toss to combine. Continue adding broth and tossing just until stuffing is moistened but not wet.

Spoon stuffing into prepared baking dish; cover with buttered aluminum foil. Bake until warmed through, 25 to 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden, about 15 minutes more.

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