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Cyrus Chestnut Stuffing

What would Thanksgiving be without stuffing? Named after jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut, this recipe uses chestnuts, Pancetta, cornbread, Ciabatta bread and much more to combine into a uniquely flavourful mix that'll serve as the perfect accompaniment to your turkey.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: stuffing, thanksgiving, turkey stuffing
Servings: 12


  • 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.