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Chestnut Stuffing with Pork Sausage

1 lb Fresh chestnuts
2 c Chicken stock
1/2 lb Breakfast-style or sweet Italian sausage
8 tb Butter
3 Stalks celery, finely chopped
2 oz Prosciutto ham, finely chopped
2 c Bread cubes, lightly toasted on a baking sheet in the oven
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Peel the chestnuts and cut each into quarters. Gently simmer the chestnuts in the stock in a saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until tender.

Crumble the sausage and brown it in a frying pan over medium heat. Transfer the sausage to a colander to drain off the fat.

Melt the butter in the sausage pan. Cook the celery over low heat for 5 minutes, or until tender, adding the ham after 3 minutes. Stir in the bread cubes, cooked sausage, cooked chestnuts, half of the stock, and salt and pepper to taste. Add stock as necessary; the stuffing should be moist but not soggy.

Spoon the stuffing into a buttered baking dish; cover with foil and bake in a 350F oven for 15 minutes, or until thoroughly heated. Alternatively, spoon the stuffing into the cavity of a capon or turkey.

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