Venison Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing

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“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose”  Jack Frost has certainly been nipping at our noses here Montana, actually, I think he’s been biting our noses off.  Our grounds are snow covered and in the last week we’ve had temperatures as low as 7°F.

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire”  when I hear that song, it elicits visions of comfort and warmth, a nostalgia over takes me.  I have never roasted chestnuts over an open fire, nor have I ever roasted chestnuts period.  I have felt like I was missing out on something important.  this year, I didn’t want to just elicit that nostalgic feeling I wanted to experience it for real.

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“Chestnut roasting in a closed oven” (no open fire here)…. I discovered that indeed, I was missing out.  Missing out on peeling the little buggers, talk about difficult.  I followed some instruction I found on the internet…”make an ‘X’ on the nut, roast at 425°F for 15 to 25 minutes, when cool enough to handle peel immediately”.

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Not sure where I went wrong, the chestnuts were definitely done.  Did I not score a deep enough ‘X’?  Were they roasted incorrectly?  I think both.  After further research I discovered that there should be a little char on the nuts (which I did not have) and the outer covering should curl back making them fairly easy to peel.  I believe a deeper ‘X’ and better roasting would have made a difference.

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Let’s just say they ended up being a labor of love.  I love my Baby boy and I let him do all the labor!

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If you’ve never had a chestnut, you are in for a treat.  Chestnuts do not taste nutty as their name would lead you to believe. Rather, they have a more starchy texture with a slightly sweet taste.  I can see why chestnuts are often paired with sausage in stuffing.  The spicy/sweet combo is a great pairing.

Would I do this again?  Yes, yes I would.  But first I will have to work on the roasting/peeling part, maybe I’ll even try it on an open fire, if Jack Frost doesn’t bite my nose off.

Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing
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Ingredients
  1. 1 package seasoned stuffing cubes (I used Pepperidge Farm)
  2. 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  3. 1 cup chopped onions
  4. 1 pound venison sausage (or any other bulk sausage of your choice)
  5. 1 pound chestnuts, roasted, peeled and chopped
  6. 2 cups turkey stock
  7. Zest of one orange
  8. Salt and pepper to taste
  9. 2 tablespoons butter, sliced into pats
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  In a large frying pan over medium high heat, brown the sausage.  Use a wooden spoon to break sausage up into pieces.  Remove meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Drain all but 2 tablespoon of fat from the pan, sauté the onion and celery until the onion is translucent and tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the stock and bring to a boil, remove from heat.
  2. Put stuffing cubes in a very large bowl.  Add sausage, chopped chestnuts and orange zest.  Pour stock/onion/celery mixture over the stuffing, mix gently.  Add salt and pepper to taste if desired.  Transfer the stuffing to a greased two quart casserole.  Top with pats of butter.  Bake for 30 minutes.
The Kitchen Witch http://www.thekitchenwitchblog.com/
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7 Responses to Venison Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing

  1. Cathy at Wives with Knives November 22, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    I have tried roasting chestnuts too but thought they were a lot of work. I think it’s something one has to grow up with to really enjoy. But maybe if I had them a few times I would develop a taste for them. I thought they were very starchy. I love the thought of them roasting on an open fire.

    • Giggles November 22, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

      they are a pain but I’m not ready to write them off yet. I thought they were a bit sweet and starchy which is why I prepared them with some spicy sausage.

  2. Lea Ann November 22, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and the comment on the hash brown saga. One thing I didn’t do while soaking the raw potatoes was salting the water. Really nice blog you have, great photos. This dressing sounds WONderful. I’m a new subscriber.

    • Giggles November 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

      Lea Ann, loved your blog. Actually I saw a comment you made at Wives with Knives and checked you out because you share the same name as my mom, including the spelling.

  3. Karen November 30, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    We used to roast chestnuts all the time when we were kids… haven’t had them in years. Your recipe sounds great!

  4. Jenni December 12, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    This looks amazing! Do you make your own venison sausage? My brother and I were going to try and attempt it this winter!

    • Giggles December 13, 2011 at 11:12 am #

      I just started making my own venison sausage this year! I was very pleased with how it turned out. I need to do it a few more times before I feel comfortable about posting it though. Alas, I’ll have to wait till next season.