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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Turkey Chestnut Stuffing (Caroline and Dan)

1 lb peeled chestnuts, cooked and very finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
The liver from the turkey, chopped small (this ingredient is optional)
4 oz smoked streaky bacon (we think this is normal American bacon), finely chopped
1 oz butter
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon ground mace
8 oz best-quality pork sausage meat, or finely minced pure pork
1 egg, beaten
Salt and freshly milled black pepper

Melt the butter in a large frying pan and cook the onion, bacon and chopped turkey liver for 10 minutes or so, until the onion looks transparent and everything is tinged gold at the edges. Now tip the contents of the pan into a large mixing bowl and add all of the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper, and mix thoroughly.

Put stuffing in neck end of turkey and secure skin with skewers.

In 2003 we celebrated Thanksgiving with Allen and Nirelle. Allen asked for Caroline’s turkey chestnut stuffing recipe – so here it is. When Caroline was a child, part of the run up to Christmas was sitting around the kitchen table peeling piles of chestnuts. Now we can buy them ready peeled and vacuum packed, and as we take advantage of this “progress”, our children will not have this memory.

This is the old-fashioned way to prepare a chestnut. Make a slit in the outer skin of the chestnut with a sharp knife. Place chestnuts in a pan of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Lift out a few at a time and peel off both the brown and inner skins, making sure that you remove all those fiddly bits of the inner skin.

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