Brioche Chestnut Stuffing
Stuffing with made from eggy brioche and roasted chestnuts is a Thanksgiving classic. This one, seasoned with celery, onion and sage, and a little diced fennel for sweetness and depth, sticks relatively close to tradition. Use it to stuff a turkey, if you like, but it’s even better baked separately in a shallow casserole dish, so the top can get nice and crisp. If you’d like to bake it ahead, you can do so up to 6 hours in advance. Just before serving, reheat it in a 350-degree oven.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 1(14- to 16-ounce) brioche loaf, torn into 1-inch pieces
- 8tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), plus more for the pan
- 1large onion, diced
- 2large celery ribs, thinly sliced
- ½cup diced fennel (about 1/2 small fennel bulb)
- 1 ½teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
- 5ounces roasted, peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped
- ½teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 ½cups turkey or chicken stock
- 2large eggs
- ¼cup chopped parsley
Step 1Arrange brioche pieces in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Let them dry out overnight, or place them in a 200-degree oven for an hour or two. (They’ll be ready when they feel stale to the touch but haven't taken on any color.)
Step 2Heat oven to 375 degrees, and butter a shallow, 2-quart casserole or gratin dish. On a pot on the stove or in the microwave, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Put bread in the prepared baking dish and toss with melted butter. Bake until golden and toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then transfer toast to a large bowl. (Don’t wash the baking dish; you’ll use it again for the stuffing.)
Step 3In a 12-inch skillet, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in onion, celery, fennel and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until soft and just starting to brown, about 12 minutes. Stir in thyme and sage, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and transfer to bowl with brioche. Gently fold in chestnuts and pepper and let cool.
Step 4In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups stock, eggs, parsley and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Fold gently into bread mixture, then scrape it all back into prepared baking dish. Drizzle on remaining 1 cup stock until the mixture is moist but not squishy; you may not need all the stock.
Step 5Cover dish with foil and bake until lightly springy, about 25 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until golden brown, another 20 to 30 minutes.