Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing
Country style stuffing loaded with everything you love about the holidays, Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing is the only stuffing recipe you’ll ever need. Easy to make, bursting with flavor and can be made in advance.
Note: This recipe and photos have been updated as of December 13, 2015.
Thanksgiving week continues…..have I mentioned I’m bad at math? If I went and counted the posts I had for Thanksgiving Week before proclaiming said “Thanksgiving Week”, I would have noticed it exceeded the number of days in a normal week. So, this is Thanksgiving Week, the sequel. And this week is the best because it contains sausage….and stuffing. And sausage in stuffing! Which is even better.
My favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is the stuffing….because I love bread….and every other carb known to man. I could eat a whole bucket of stuffing just by itself but what makes this better is there’s sausage in this Sausage and Chestnut stuffing, if you didn’t gather that already from the title. And bacon! AND BOURBON! Yes, I put it all in there. And the chestnuts are just a nice bonus surprise that everyone will love. If you haven’t noticed, I love bourbon in all the things…like these mini cheesecakes and this gravy…that whips up in just 5 minutes.
Like I mentioned in my Thanksgiving Survival Guide last week, this stuffing stays out of the bird. I bake it in a baking dish that can double as the serving dish. You can make the bread cubes up to ten days in advance and assemble the stuffing the day before your feast. Just cover and refrigerate. Be sure to let it come to room temperature before baking if you make ahead so the dish bakes evenly. This is also a great dish for a potluck because it travels very well. It makes a great side to your epically roasted turkey.
Slightly adapted from Gourmet Magazine – November 2003
Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing
- 1 loaf country-style bread cut into 3/4 inch cubes I try to buy a 1 pound loaf or close to that
- 1/2 pound sliced bacon cut crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 large vidalia onions chopped
- 3 celery ribs chopped
- 1 pound bulk pork sausage I use Jimmy Dean
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 1 cup turkey stock or low sodium chicken broth
- 2 large eggs
- 8 ounces jarred chestnuts crumbled
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a shallow baking dish (2 1/2 to 3 quart).
- Spread the bread cubes in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake until completely dry, approximately 20-25 minutes. Set aside to cool in the pan on a rack.
- While the bread bakes, cook the bacon in a large heavy skillet over med-high heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a large bowl and set aside.
- Pour off all but 2 tablespoons bacon grease from the skillet and add the onions to the pan. Saute the onions over med-high heat stirring until softened, approximately 10 minutes. Add the celery and continue stirring and scraping up any brown bits, approximately 3 minutes. Add the vegetables to the bowl with the bacon and set aside.
- Add the sausage to the pan and cook over med-high heat, stirring and breaking up the sausage with a fork. Continue cooking until the meat is cooked through, approximately 8-10 minutes and transfer to the onion mixture.
- Pour off any fat from the skillet and add the bourbon off the heat. Deglaze the pan by simmering over medium heat scraping the bottom of the pan to release the brown bits, 1 minute. Add the bourbon to the sausage/onion mixture in the bowl.
- Increase the oven temperature to 375.
- Soak the bread cubes in half and half in a large bowl being sure to toss frequently until all the liquid is absorbed, approximately 15 minutes. Stir the bread into the sausage mixture. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the stock and eggs and add to the stuffing mixture. Stir in the chestnuts, herbs, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined.
- Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake an additional 20 minutes or until the top is crisp.
- Notes: Bread can be dried up to 10 days in advance and stored in an airtight container until ready to use. Stuffing can be assembled 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before baking.