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Recipe: Chestnut and Wild Mushroom Stuffing

I love stuffing when it has a nice crisp crust and a soft inner layer.  I like it hot, with gravy and cold, the next day, in a little panzanella-type salad with some cranberry relish.  Some Thanksgiving enthsiasts will tell you that cooking stuffing inside a bird is the only way to do it but I beg to differ.

Baking stuffing in a deep roasting pan produces a contrast in texture, it speeds the cooking time, and you can make as much as you want!  Not only is it easier, it’s more versatile.  In fact, I don’t even use a large bowl to make stuffing anymore; I just mix it right in the pan.   Anything that can cut down on the number of dishes I have when cooking a meal for 30 people wins points in my book!

Chestnut and Wild Mushroom Stuffing

Serves 15

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 24 ounces (1 ½ lbs.) of wild mushrooms (dried and rehydrated or fresh), diced
  • 6-8 large shallots, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced with a pinch of kosher salt to bring out the oils
  • 3-4 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh thyme + 1 teaspoon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary + ½ teaspoon
  • 1 ½ cups dry white wine
  • 4-5 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 1-lb loaf of day old bread (I like to choose a lighter wheat bread and leave it out overnight, but you can toast a moister loaf)
  • ½ – 1 lb roasted fresh chestnuts, chopped
  • 4 medium or 3 large eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and sauté until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add the celery and garlic and reduce the heat to medium.  When the vegetables begin to soften, add the thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper.  Cook 1-2 more minutes and add the white wine, cook until reduced by half and then add about 2 cups (aka half) of the chicken stock.

Reduce the veggie-stock mixture until it thickens, about 10-15 minutes (or more if the pan is crowded).  In the meantime, dice the bread into pieces (whatever size you prefer but I don’t go larger than a ½ inch).  Lightly oil the roasting pan and add the diced bread, the rest of the stock, and the chestnuts.  Add the cooked vegetables, ¾ of the cheese, and eggs and toss together.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese and herbs on the top and bake (covered) for about 30 minutes, and then remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 30 or until the top begins to brown.

NUTRITION INFORMATION:
209 calories ∣ 47 calories from fat ∣ 5 g fat ∣ 2 g saturated fat ∣ 28 g carbs ∣ 3 g fiber ∣ 10 g protein ∣ Excellent source of Riboflavin ∣ Niacin ∣Selenium∣ Manganese ∣Phosphorus

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