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Eighteenth-century Chestnut Stuffing

This recipe is adapted from one I first came across in the cookery book written by the eighteenth-century writer, Hannah Glasse. Peeling chestnuts is a chore at the best of times, but with the pressures of Christmas it can seem even more tiresome. So, if you can get hold of peeled chestnuts in a vacuum pack or container, that will make life infinitely easier.

 Eighteenth-century Chestnut Stuffing

  Makes enough for a 12-14 lb (5.5-6.5 kg) turkey but would actually be okay for any size of bird

 1 lb (450 g) peeled chestnuts, cooked and very finely chopped
 1 large onion, finely chopped
 4 oz (110 g) smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
 the liver from the turkey, chopped small
 1 oz (25 g) butter
 4 level tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
 1 level dessertspoon chopped fresh thyme
 ¼ level teaspoon ground mace
 8 oz (225 g) best-quality pork sausagemeat, or finely minced pure pork
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
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This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Christmas.


Melt the butter in a large frying pan and cook the onion, bacon and chopped turkey liver for 10 minutes or so, until the onion looks transparent and everything is tinged gold at the edges. Now tip the contents of the pan into a large mixing bowl and add all the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper, and mix very thoroughly.


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Well, what can we say? Simply that thousands of you will be feasting on this foolproof turkey recipe on Christmas Day and enjoying compliments from everyone!




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