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Playing Chestnut Stuffing


  • 1 pound fresh chestnuts
  • 5 cups white country bread, torn into small to medium-sized pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup Armagnac brandy
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups bacon, cut in lardoons and rendered until crispy
  • 3 tablespoons sage, cut in chiffonade
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, cut in chiffonade
  • Salt and pepper


Serves: 8




For the chestnuts: Heat oven to 450F. Score each side of chestnut shell with an X. Spread chestnuts into a shallow roasting pan, add 1 cup water and bake until shells begin to open. While still hot, remove shell and peel skin from chestnuts.



For Stuffing: Heat oven to 325F. On baking tray, bake bread pieces about 10 minutes until golden brown, turning occasionally. Once done, place in mixing bowl.



In a large saut pan, add carrots, onions, celery and garlic; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until soft, deglaze with brandy and flamb brandy to burn off alcohol. Add butter, chestnuts, bacon lardons and cook for 1 minute. Add warm vegetable mixture to toasted bread pieces, stir in parsley and sage and season to taste. Let stuffing cool completely.



Bake in shallow roasting pan at 350F for about 30 minutes or stuff into your bird of choice.