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Homemade Cornbread Stuffing with Chestnuts and Dried Cranberries

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China bowl full of homemade stuffing with bread, cornbread, chestnuts, and dried cranberries.

This homemade cornbread stuffing with chestnuts and dried cranberries is my favorite holiday stuffing recipe that I make every year for Thanksgiving dinner, but it would also be equally delicious any time of the year with a roast chicken or as a side dish to a meal.

This recipe is one I made based off of a couple of different recipes. I adapted a recipe from a recipe pamphlet from Bear Wallow Books that I got at a gift shop called “Old-Fashioned Herb Recipes.” I used some of the ingredients from that recipe, and I also included some ideas from some old-fashioned-style stuffing, or forcemeat, recipes that I’ve seen over the years. The base for this stuffing is a blend of cornbread and sourdough bread, and the mix of chestnuts, dried cranberries, apple, and herbs give it a nice combination of savory and sweet.

This stuffing recipe uses both homemade cornbread and homemade sourdough bread. I prefer using homemade, but if you are short on time you could also use store bought bread and cornbread. If you choose to use homemade, you can use your favorite recipes for homemade bread or for cornbread, or you can check out my favorite recipes for old-fashioned corn bread and easy homemade sourdough bread.

I also use whole chestnuts for this recipe that I roast in the oven and then peel. If you want to save on time, though, you could buy chestnuts that have already been roasted and peeled. Since I make this stuffing only once a year for Thanksgiving, I don’t mind taking the extra time to roast and peel them myself, especially since it makes the house smell amazing, and I love the taste of freshly-roasted chestnuts fresh from the oven. If I were doing this more often, though, or if I were short on time then I would probably take advantage of the convenience of buying pre-roasted chestnuts. If you’d like to try roasting your own in the oven, you can see how I usually do it on this page about oven-roasted chestnuts.

China bowl full of homemade stuffing with bread, cornbread, chestnuts, and dried cranberries.

Homemade Cornbread Stuffing with Chestnuts and Dried Cranberries

Yield: About 4 1/2 cups

The base for this stuffing is a blend of cornbread and sourdough bread, and the mix of chestnuts, dried cranberries, apple, and herbs give it a nice combination of savory and sweet.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sourdough bread broken into small pieces (You can use any type of bread you like instead of sourdough if you prefer.)
  • 2 cups cornbread broken into small pieces
  • About 3/4 cup of chestnuts that have been roasted, peeled, and broken into small pieces (I usually use about 15 chestnuts. The amount doesn't have to be exact.)
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups of chopped apples
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp of dried sage
  • 1 1/2 tsp of dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup of chicken broth (I like to start with 1/2 cup and then add more if needed.)

Instructions

  1. Spread your crumbled up cornbread and bread pieces out on a baking sheet and toast them in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or so. You want them to be just slightly toasted and golden brown, but it's a good idea to check them once in a while to make sure they don't burn.
  2. Add the diced onion to a large saucepan with some butter and cook on medium heat until the onion is nicely caramelized. (I usually sauté them in the same saucepan that I'll be using for the stuffing to have less dishes to wash at the end, so I make sure to use a large enough pan.)
  3. Add the apple pieces and let cook until the apple starts to soften.
  4. Add the dried cranberries, the chestnuts, and toasted bread and cornbread and all of the seasonings, stirring well to combine.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth and 1 egg and stir for a few minutes, Then reduce heat to low and cover the saucepan, stirring occasionally to make sure stuffing isn't burning at the bottom of the pan and adding more broth if stuffing seems too dry.
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    China bowl full of homemade stuffing with bread, cornbread, chestnuts, and dried cranberries.

     

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