Low-fat cornbread sage stuffing with chestnuts and apples

stuffingThis fragrant stuffing  uses only  2 Tb olive oil and 1/2 cube butter.  You can make a gluten-free stuffing using my recipe for gluten-free cornbread. Stuff your turkey, then bake the rest in a casserole dish. Because I brine my turkey, I only add salt to the stuffing that I bake separately.

produce for stuffingIngredients

An 8 × 8 pan of Rosemary-scented cornbread 0r gluten-free cornbread, cut into cubes to make about 8 cups (unless you nosh on the cornbread before making the stuffing!) cube the cornbread  2 Tb olive oil

1/2 cube (1/4 cup) butter

2 cups chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)

2 cups chopped celery (use the inside stalks, reserving the outside ones to surround the roasting turkey)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 bell pepper, chopped (remove seeds and ribs)

2 tsp rubbed sage

1 tsp minced fresh sage

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

3 Tb fresh thyme OR 2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp minced fresh rosemary

½ tsp (several grinds) black pepper

1 cup roasted chestnuts (shelled), sliced or crumbled (about 10 large chestnuts)

1/4 cup pecan pieces

2 Granny Smith apples, chopped

2 eggs

1 ½ cup turkey or chicken broth

½ to 1 tsp salt to taste (unless used for stuffing a brined turkey)

Make Turkey broth:

1  1/2  cups water

turkey neck and giblets

1 onion, finely chopped

several stalks celery with leaves, cut up

1 clove garlic, minced

On Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving, boil turkey neck and giblets in water with celery and chopped onion and  garlic for an hour or more. Strain into a container and use to moisten this stuffing. (Reserve giblets if you like chopped giblets in your gravy.)

Briefly parboil, then roast chestnuts (be sure to cut them first so they don’t burst!) at 425′ for 15 minutes. Let cool, then shell them. I found it’s easier to scoop the meat out with a teaspoon.  (Or buy the precooked, shelled ones at Trader Joe’s if you don’t want to spend all that time peeling them.)

Make cornbread on Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

Heat oil and butter in a large, heavy frying pan. Stir-fry onions, celery, bell pepper, apples, and garlic over medium heat until vegetables soften. Add pecans and herbs and heat a few minutes.

Mix with cubed cornbread and chestnuts.

Beat the eggs and add the broth. Stir into stuffing.

Bake in a oiled casserole. If you have room in the oven, or bake it before the turkey, bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  I used the microwave since the oven’s got the turkey in it. 15 min should do it.

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