This recipe blends Asian, Middle Eastern, and Hungarian flavors into a wonderfully eclectic stuffing.
Yield: serves 8
- 7 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. Asian sesame oil
- 3 small yellow onions, peeled and chopped
- 2-7 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 bunch celery, ribs separated and chopped
- 1⁄2 lb. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps diced
- 1 (1-lb.) loaf challah, cut into 1/2" cubes and set out to let dry for 2–3 days
- 1 1⁄2 cups jarred peeled roasted chestnuts, diced
- 1 cup canned water chestnuts, drained and diced
- 1-2 tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
- 4 tsp. sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Leaves of 1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. chopped leaves of one fresh herb or a mixture, such as thyme, oregano, savory, tarragon, and basil
- 1⁄2-1 cups chicken stock, warm
- Preheat oven to 350°. Heat 6 tbsp. of the butter and sesame oil together in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 8 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, add celery, and cook, stirring often, until celery is softened, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until most of their liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
- Transfer vegetable mixture to a large bowl, add challah, and toss with a kitchen spoon until well combined. Add chestnuts, water chestnuts, sesame seeds, paprika, egg, parsley, and fresh herbs, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss well.
- Set 4–5 cups of the stuffing aside if stuffing the turkey. Mix in just enough stock to stuffing in bowl to make it moist but not dense and packed together.
- Grease a medium baking dish with the remaining butter. Spoon stuffing into dish, cover with heavy-duty foil and bake until hot, about 30 minutes. Uncover dish and bake until golden on top, about 15 minutes more. Garnish with a sprig of parsley, if you like.