Recipe by Buster's friend
I love chestnuts! This is difficult because I don't love preparing them & I really dislike getting chestnuts that turn out to be moldy. To avod the dissappointment of moldy nuts & the pain of burned fingers I will splurge & get jarred chestnuts. They are spendy so they fall into the "very special occasions" category. Oh so good. I jumped on this recipe when I read it in The Seattle Times. They attribute it to "Sunday Suppers at Lucques: Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table" by Suzanne Goin with Teri Gelber. Thank you Suzanne & Teri. I can't wait to try it.
Top Review by Ajb2
I've made this recipe before but never rate it. It does take a little work especially those chestnuts.
However, it's well worth it! This stuffing is out of control! You have to try it.
Tip - start working on the chestnuts a day or two before you going to make the stuffing.
- 2 loaves bread, country-style (16 to 18 ounces each)
- 2⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 1 cup pancetta, finely diced
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper, crushed flakes
- 2 cups onions, finely diced
- 2 cups fennel bulbs, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons thyme
- kosher salt, freshly ground
- black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 cup white wine
- 3 cups chicken stock (broth fine too)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2 (14 ounce) jars chestnuts (peeled and cooked)
- 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1⁄4 cup parsley, chopped flat-leaf
Directions See How It's Made
- Cut the crusts off the bread and tear remaining loaves into 1-inch pieces; put into a large bowl. Toss with 2/3 cup olive oil. Spread on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Toast on staggered oven shelves in a preheated 400-degree oven 12 to 15 minutes, tossing occasionally, until croutons are golden-brown and crispy on the outside but still a little soft and tender inside. Reverse baking sheets halfway through cooking time. Cool.
- Toast the fennel seeds in a small pan over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan often, until the seeds release their aroma and turn a light golden brown. Coarsely grind the seeds with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Set aside.
- Heat a large saute pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Add remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and the pancetta. Saute 1 to 2 minutes. Turn heat down to medium, add rosemary sprigs and red-pepper flakes and cook one minute. Add onion, fennel, fennel seeds and thyme. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grindings of pepper. Saute about 8 minutes or until the vegetables are lightly caramelized. If making ahead, cool and refrigerate vegetables. Otherwise, add to the croutons and set aside.
- Return pan to high heat and pour in white wine. Bring to a boil and reduce by three-quarters. Add chicken stock or broth and bring to a boil. Pour hot liquid over croutons and vegetables, tossing well to combine. Stir occasionally so that the liquid that settles in the bottom of the bowl can be redistributed.
- Wipe pan out with paper towels, and return to the stove over medium heat. Swirl in 4 tablespoons butter, and when it foams, add chestnuts. Saute 4 to 5 minutes, until the chestnuts are golden and sizzling. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper; add to the stuffing. Stir to combine, and adjust seasonings if needed. Add eggs and parsley, toss well and put the stuffing into a 2 1/2 -quart casserole. Don't pile it too high — any that remains can be put into a smaller casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes in a preheated 375-degree oven. Remove foil and top stuffing with remaining butter cut into small pieces. Cook uncovered about 15 minutes or until crispy on top.