Chestnut stuffing for poultry: Relleno de castañas para aves
This is a very traditional Spanish Christmas stuffing that I have been served here in Cholula. Although most of the chestnuts sold today are exported by Italy, there has been a recent resurgence in the chestnut industry in California, possibly paving the way for greater availability of fresh chestnuts. The vacuum-packed chestnuts can be used in the same ways as fresh ones. Jamón serrano is a Spanish cured ham, sold in Mexico in the deli section of supermarkets. Prosciutto could be substituted.
- 6 cups cubed, day-old bread
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 ribs celery, chopped
- 6 slices jamón serrano, chopped
- liver from the turkey, fried and chopped (optional)
- 2 cups chopped chestnuts, using either fresh, peeled and skinned, or canned nuts
- ½ cup parsley leaves
- chicken or turkey stock as needed
- salt and pepper to taste
Spread the bread cubes on 1 or 2 baking sheets and toast them in a 350º oven until light golden brown.
In a large pan, heat the butter and olive oil, add the onions and celery, and sauté until the onion is transparent.
Stir in the ham, liver, parsley and bread cubes. Add stock until the desired stuffing consistency is reached. (Some people like a more moist dressing, others do not.) Add salt and pepper to taste.
Makes enough to stuff a 9 pound turkey.
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A Mexican Christmas dinner: Tamales, turkey, tejocotes