It’s been weighing on me since Meghan’s birthday - what the heck are we going to do with all of the chestnuts we collected at my parents’ house?? On a visit at the end of September, we took a walk through the chestnut orchard at my childhood home; the sun shone through the leaves, their edges just beginning to curl and burn. Birds cawed overhead, the wind clicked dry branches together… and hordes of spiky chestnut burrs rained down upon us. It was dry and warm, and the nuts were being felled by wind instead of the usual rainstorm (which leads to them being wormy and gross), so my mom, wife and I grabbed baskets and went to town (figuratively, of course). We picked up something like 20+ lbs. of fresh chestnuts, and could’ve continued, but knew we’d be pressed to find ways of eating the massive pile we had already amassed. Since then, they’ve mostly sat undisturbed in our auxiliary fridge in the garage, though I did make kurigohan last month (and will post about that soon also). As Thanksgiving looms, it’s time to hone my stuffing game. Let’s do this.
4 C. sourdough bread, roughly cubed
½-1 C. vegetable broth
1-2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1/2 C. chestnuts, roasted, hulled and chopped
1 t. parsley (dried)
½ t. rosemary
1 t. basil (dried)
1 t. oregano (dried)
1 t. salt
1 ½ T. nutritional yeast
Pepper to taste
Prep time: 1hr
Cook time: 45 min-1hr
Yields 6-10 portions or ~5 C. stuffing
Roast and hull your chestnuts according to these instructions, baking at 350 F for ~30 min. While they’re roasting, chop the vegetables and cube the bread, and once the chestnuts are cooled, hulled and chopped, combine everything except the broth and olive oil in a large bowl. Alternate adding broth and oil until the stuffing sticks together but isn’t soaked.
Empty bowl into a baking pan, pat down a bit and cook, covered, for ~45 min covered at 375 F, then uncovered for another 10-15 min at 425 F (to crisp the top). The roasted chestnuts add a nice earthy flavor without compromising the texture most expect from holiday stuffing (crispy top, softer inside).
Pretty straightforward, right? If only surviving the holidays were so easy... Pair with our mashed potatoes recipe!