The Christmas and Thanksgiving roast turkey truly needs some stuffing. One of the best for the job if you are using sausage meat is a chestnut and apple stuffing. I’ve seen it served in the bird or next to the bird at some fancy restaurants at various times – never fails to liven up the flavour.
The Thanksgiving turkey recipe uses lemons so it’s reasonable to replace the orange with any lemon instead as this keeps the integrity of flavour.
Serving: One 10 to 12 pound turkey or a large chicken
Preparation time is ½ hour
Chestnut and apple stuffing ingredients:
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, diced
- 3 apples – Bramley is best but a Braeburn or James Grieve is pretty good
- 40 g (1½oz) butter
- 200 g pack whole cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped (I use Merchant Gourmet but others are equally good)
- 450 g (1lb) good-quality sausage meat
- Finely grated zest of 1 large orange or a lemon
- 50 g (2oz) walnuts or pecans, finely chopped
- 1tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
- 1 large egg
- 150 g (5oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
- 9-10 rashers streaky bacon
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan) or gas mark 5.
- Melt the butter in a large pan and gently cook the diced celery and chopped onions for 10min until softened.
- Empty into a large bowl and leave to cool. Continue with steps 4 onwards.
- Peel, core and dice one of the apples.
- Add chestnuts, diced apple, sausage meat, sage, orange zest, egg, walnuts, breadcrumbs and some seasoning to the cooled onion mixture and stir all of it in well. Set aside just half for stuffing the turkey cavity.
- Divide the remaining stuffing mixture into 18-20 equal pieces. Roll each into a ball.
- Stretch each bacon rasher with the back of a large knife. Cut each rasher in half along its width and wrap each half around a stuffing ball. Put the ball seam-side down on a non-stick baking tray.
- Cut the remaining apples into wedges and leave unpeeled. Place among the stuffing balls.
- Cook in the oven for 30-35 minutes until cooked through and serve on the side of the carved bird – usually with the breast meat.