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Sausage, Apple, Chestnut Stuffing Recipe

Save precious time and energy and buy already peeled, vacuum-packed steamed chestnuts. Look for them at Williams-Sonoma stores. Ready-cubed bread is another time-saver.

1 pound country-style white bread, crusts trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 pound bulk pork sausage
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 large celery stalks, chopped
2 large tart apples, peeled, quartered and chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried thyme
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 pound fresh chestnuts, baked and peeled, or 2 cups vacuum-packed peeled jarred chestnuts
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 eggs, beaten until blended

Toast the bread cubes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the bread cubes in a large baking pan. Bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, about 12 minutes. Transfer the bread to a large bowl.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook the sausage, crumbling with a fork, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the bread.

Add the butter to the drippings in the pan, reduce the heat to medium and melt the butter. Add the onion and celery and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the apples and thyme and sauté for 1 1/2 minutes. Add to the bread. Add the broth to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add to the bread. Mix in the chestnuts and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the eggs. Makes about 12 cups, enough for a 16-pound turkey. Serves 8-10.

To bake the stuffing in a turkey: Fill the large body cavity and the smaller neck cavity with the stuffing. Butter a baking dish large enough to hold the remaining stuffing and spoon the stuffing into it. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake alongside the turkey for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the top is crisp, about 30 minutes longer.

To bake all the stuffing in a baking dish: Preheat an oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish and spoon the stuffing into it. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the top is crisp, about 30 minutes longer.

The Secret: Make the stuffing the day before and refrigerate until ready to heat.

Marlene Parrish

Thursday, November 18, 1999

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