There are many stuffing recipes out there but for me it has to be chestnut stuffing for Christmas. In my version, there are also walnuts and figs which make wonderful accompaniments. This stuffing can be mixed the day before and rolled in tin foil in your fridge ready to cook on the day. The idea of stuffing is a very old one - I’m told there are recipes from Roman times for stuffed dormouse! But let’s just stick with a stuffing to serve with turkey today...
This recipe utilizes the offal you usually find inside the turkey.
Sausage meat, coarse textured
Turkey liver, roughly chopped
Turkey heart, roughly chopped
Lard or beef suet
Chestnuts cooked, roughly chopped
Figs, dried, roughly chopped
Walnuts, shelled, roughly chopped
Egg, medium, organic or free range
Freshly ground black pepper
Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk for 30 minutes.
To make the stuffing, simply mix all of the ingredients together and season with salt, pepper and allspice. (To check the seasoning, make a small patty with some of the stuffing, pan fry it and taste).
Roll the stuffing tightly in tin foil, twisting the ends of the tin foil to seal into a large sausage shape.
Cook in the pre-heated oven at 180°C for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and reserve in a warm place until needed.
"The best chestnuts are those that are freshly peeled, though this can be a painstaking task. In most good supermarkets you can now buy good quality peeled frozen chestnuts."
"Rolling the stuffing in tin foil is a good technique to aid the thorough cooking and for creating attractive slices of stuffing. Alternatively you could bake the stuffing in an ovenproof baking dish or a terrine mould."
"There are many variations: you could add your favourite herbs, or dried fruits such as prunes, dates, apricots, pine nuts, pistachios or you could even add diced turkey heart."