I ate something similar to this on my first Christmas away from home, which happened to be Italy (as au pair to a hoard of screaming children!). They really knew how to do amazing things with chestnuts but my favorite was the turkey stuffing. We use this every year for our turkey and love it. You can use leftover uncooked spare stuffing to make a fantastic quick roast fish (baked mackerel with chestnut stuffing). Buy vacuum-packed cooked chestnuts from delis or (better-value) dried chestnuts from health stores such as Asia Market, Drury St, Dublin 2 or Down to Earth in South Great George’s St, Dublin 2. Enjoy…
Makes 600ml stuffing (enough to stuff the body cavity and neck of a 1.8kg bird) with about 1 cup of leftovers which you can use to make my delicious stuffed mackerel fillets for another dinner…
250g cooked peeled chestnuts
130g dried peeled chestnuts , soaked overnight, then boiled till tender, drained
1 heaped dsp fresh thyme leaves (or a 1 level tsp dried, but fresh is much nicer)
1 rounded dsp chopped sage
2 heaped dsp chopped parsley
A few good grinds of black pepper
1/4 level tsp Himalayan or Atlantic sea salt
60g onion, finely chopped so it cooks properly (1/2 a medium onion)
1 level dsp light olive oil, virgin macadamia oil or clarified butter (these 3 options are all good for people on a dairy-free diet), or regular butter if you eat dairy.
- Process or mash thoroughly the chestnuts until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs, tip into a bowl with the chopped onion, herbs and seasoning.
- If using butter, melt it gently. Add your butter or oil to the bowl and mix well. This stuffing can be stored for a couple of days in the fridge before using.Variation:
If you prefer, use half chestnuts and half brown gluten-free (or granary if you eat gluten) breadcrumbs. For each cup of processed chestnuts use 1 cub of breadcrumbs. Why this is better for you:
Chestnuts are lower glycaemic index (lower sugar) than bread so are a much healthier alternative. They also contain potassium, which helps your body neutralise the effects of eating too much meat at Christmas. Fresh herbs are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing – good news especially at Christmas when all that extra sugary, bready food and alcohol can take its toll.