Shepard Family Chestnut Stuffing

Shepard Family Chestnut Stuffing recipe

1lb pork sausage cooked and crumbled
1lb peeled chestnuts
1, 14 oz package of stuffing mix or seasoned breadcrumbs (pepper, sage and thyme is the blend if you use unseasoned or homemade breadcrumbs)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion diced
2 stalks celery ( I like more!)
1/2 tsp powdered sage
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp celery seed ( I like more! )
3-4 TBS chopped parsley
1 stick of butter
Milk or chicken stock

-Start boiling a saucepan of water.
-While it is heating slice chestnuts in half with a paring knife, pruners or kitchen shears. Put sliced chestnuts into a blanching basket or collander.
-When water is boiling, put chestnuts into boiling water. Stir/ shake/rattle & roll chestnuts in the boiling water
-When the surface of water is covered with chestnut hides, remove chestnuts from boiling water and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle.
-The hides should slip/ peel off the chestnuts easily.
-Dump out the chestnut water. (some folks use this to make beer!)

-Melt the butter in the bottom of the saucepan

-Mix Chestnuts, onions, garlic, herbs and spices in with the butter

-When thoroughly blended, add breadcrumbs & sausage.
-If the mixture gets too dry to easily mix, add stock or milk to lubricate. The goal is to make the mixture sticky, not mushy, You want the breadcrumbs to be somewhat dry on the insides so they can absorb juices from a cooking bird.
If you plan to cook stuffing outside of the bird, add milk or stock until breadcrumbs are moist, but not wet.

Cook until bird is done, or until chestnuts are firm to soft when pierced with the fork.

We like to go heavy on the sage and celery! Used by the Shepard family since the late 1800’s Modified no doubt by each generation of cooks!