Dad’s Chestnut Stuffing

Every year I looked forward to Thanksgiving because I knew I would be eating this stuffing. My father would boil and peel chestnuts for the stuffing, but since I discovered prepared chestnuts, I’ve never gone back. The sweet, nutty flavor of chestnuts almost tastes like a soft popcorn. When mixed with the fresh ground pepper and cognac, it is a flavor explosion.

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6 packages Aurora chestnuts
3 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
5 fresh onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup cognac
Turkey livers, cooked and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil

Pan fry turkey livers (from the turkey) in olive oil for 3 minutes, turning once. Remove from the heat and chop finely. Set aside. In a large bowl, grind the chestnuts with the sugar using a masher until finely ground. Set aside.

Place the fresh onions, half the butter and almonds in a frying pan and brown well (approximately 5 minutes). Add the mixture to the chestnuts. Melt the remaining butter in the same frying pan and add the parsley, fresh pepper, and salt. Cook for one minute until the parsley wilts. Add the mixture to the chestnut mix along with the chopped turkey livers.

Add the cognac and mix well. The stuffing can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated for up to one day. If refrigerated, leave out for one hour before stuffing bird.

Makes 4 cups of stuffing.

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