Sourdough, Pear, and Chestnut Stuffing

1 large loaf of sourdough bread
1 lb chanterelles (hard to find, so white button mushrooms or cremini work!)
10 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
3 shallots, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup dry white wine
3 medium pears like Bartlett or Anjou, cored and chopped
1 tsp sugar
3 celery stalks, chopped
3/4 lb chestnuts (vacuum sealed)
1 cup dry cherries (I used cranberries this time as was out of cherries, but cherries are way better)
3 tbsp fresh sage
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups turkey stock (chicken or vegetable stock can work too)
1/2 cup cream


Tear bread into small bite-sized pieces (you should have about 16 cups) and set in roasting pan or bowl. To dry bread, cover with paper towels and leave out overnight. Or, place on a baking sheet in batches and lightly toast. Set aside.

Wipe mushrooms with a clean, damp towel. Trim tough ends. Slice the mushrooms and set aside.

In a heavy-bottomed pan, over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter, and then add onion and shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just soft. Do not brown. Remove onions/shallots from pan and set aside.

Add 3 tablespoons butter to pan. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and quickly sauté until just starting to brown. Remove immediately and add to plate where onions and shallots are resting.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Add wine to pan and deglaze over medium high heat, cooking until wine reduces by about half. Pour remaining liquid over mushrooms. Wipe pan dry and add remaining butter. Add pears and sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté pears, in batches if necessary, over medium high heat until they begin to brown slightly. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl or roasting pan, add sautéed ingredients to bread. Add celery, chestnuts, and cherries. Toss lightly to combine. Add sage and parsley and toss again. Pour in eggs and mix to incorporate. Slowly pour 1 cup stock over mixture and toss to combine. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Place stuffing in a 9×13 baking dish, and pour another cup of turkey stock over the stuffing, followed by the cream.

Bake stuffing for about 60 minutes, or until a golden crust forms on bottom. Serve immediately.

© 2023 Olga Massov