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Chestnut, Prune & Pancetta Stuffing

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“From Gourmet, November 2006 - stashed here for Christmas, not going to be cold enough here at Thanksgiving to do this justice! Thinking nice armagnac appertif & a prune & armagnac mousse to finish would be lovely accompaniments to a roasted turkey, trio of roasted ducks or even a roast goose stuffed with this if gets cold enough! If pancetta is too expensive I may likely substitute some NC/VA country cured ham for the pancetta. Update to follow...”
1hr 25mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 (1 1/2 lb) sourdough loaf, cut into 1/3-inch dice (18 cups)
  • 1 lb coarsely chopped pancetta, slices
  • 12 cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 3 cups chopped celery (5 to 6 ribs)
  • 4 cups chopped onions (2 large)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 12 teaspoons salt
  • 12 teaspoon black pepper
  • 24 ounces peeled roasted chestnuts, halved (4 cups)
  • 2 cups pitted prunes, quartered
  • 5 cups turkey broth, heated to liquefy
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Scatter bread in a single layer in 2 large shallow baking pans (17 by 12 inches) and toast, stirring once or twice and switching position of pans halfway through baking, until golden and dry, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a very large bowl.
  3. Cook pancetta in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Add butter and heat until melted, then add celery and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 12 minutes.
  5. Stir in sage, salt, and pepper and cook 1 minute.
  6. Add pancetta mixture along with chestnuts and prunes to bowl containing bread.
  7. Whisk together stock and eggs, then stir into bread mixture until combined well.
  8. Transfer to 4 quart wide baking dish (stuffing will mound above dish).
  9. Bake, loosely covered with a buttered sheet of foil (buttered side down) 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake until top is browned, 10 to 15 minutes more.
  10. Cooks' notes:
  11. • Stuffing, without stock-and-egg mixture, can be assembled (but not baked) 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Stir in stock mixture, then proceed with recipe.
  12. • Stuffing can be baked 6 hours ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, loosely covered. Reheat, covered, in a preheated 400°F oven until hot, about 30 minutes.

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