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Pork, Prune, and Chestnut Stuffing

Source: 50 Best Stuffings and Dressings
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Active Time:  20 Minutes
Total Time:  45 Minutes
  Makes about 8 cups
Spanish-inspired, this rich, meaty stuffing, bound heavily with eggs, makes a festive, seasonal filling for a very grand turkey.
3/4 cup diced (1/2-inch) pitted prunes
1/2 cup tawny or ruby port
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground pork
1 teaspoon imported sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups fresh bread crumbs, prepared from day-old Italian bread (about 7 ounces)
1 pound chestnuts, roasted, peeled, and coarsely chopped (see technique To Roast chestnuts below)
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup turkey or chicken stock, optional
In a small bowl, combine the prunes and port and let stand while making the stuffing. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the pork and cook, stirring often and breaking up the meat with a spoon, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the paprika, cinnamon, cumin, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper and stir until very fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the prunes with their port and bring to a boil.

Transfer the pork mixture to a large bowl. Add the bread crumbs, chestnuts, and eggs to the pork mixture and mix well. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Use as a stuffing. Or place in a lightly buttered casserole, drizzle with the broth, cover, and bake as a side dish.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Using a small, sharp knife, cut a deep "X" in the flatter side of each chestnut. Place in a single layer on a baking dish and bake until the outer skin is split and crisp, about 30 minutes.

They never all seem to be done at the same time, so work with the ones that are ready and continue roasting the others. Place the roasted chestnuts in a kitchen towel to keep them warm. Using a small, sharp knife, peel off both the tough outer skin and thin inner skins. To loosen the peels on stubborn, hard-to-peel chestnuts, return to the oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or microwave on High for 1 minute.

Vacuum-packed peeled chestnuts are available in 15-ounce jars at specialty food store. Each jar is equivalent to 1 pound of chestnuts, roasted and peeled. Canned chestnuts are also available, but the flavor of freshly roasted or vacuum-packed is superior.

Serving size = 1 cup

Recipe reprinted by permission of Doubleday. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Makes about 8 cups
Calories: 418
Fat. Total: 19g
Fiber: 5g
Carbohydrates, Total: 42g
Sodium: 541mg
% Cal. from Fat: 41%
Cholesterol: 122mg
Protein: 16g
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