Cyrus Chestnut Stuffing
- 1 lbs fresh chestnuts
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter plus more for baking dish
- 1 cup pancetta, diced in 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, stems removed and chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
- 4 cups cornbread, diced into 3/4-inch cubes
- 4 cups day-old Ciabatta bread, diced in 3/4-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 450°F.
- Cut an X into the round end of each chestnut, and place on a baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and pour ¼ cup of water onto the sheet.
- Roast the chestnuts for 10 minutes, until the shells are starting to peel back from the cut lines. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
- Peel the chestnuts while they are still warm and chop coarsely.
- Reduce the heat of the oven to 350°F and butter an 11"x7"x2" baking dish.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the pancetta until crisp, about 10 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, move the cooked pancetta pieces to a plate lined with paper towel and set aside.
- In the same skillet, melt ¾ cup of butter over medium-high heat and add in the onion, celery, garlic, chopped rosemary and sage. Sauté until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes.
- Transfer the onion mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add in the cubed cornbread and Ciabatta bread, the chopped parsley, the roasted chestnut pieces and the cooked pancetta. Toss together and pour in the chicken stock a bit at a time until the stuffing is moist. Mix in the eggs and season with the Kosher salt and black pepper.
- Spoon the stuffing into the buttered baking dish, cover with tin foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking another 20-30 minutes until the top is golden brown.