Chestnut Dressing

Chestnut dressing is traditionally served with game, such as pheasant, but can be cooked in a casserole dish and served as a side with any meal.


  • 35-40 large chestnuts (about 1.5 lbs.)
  • 1.5 cups chopped celery
  • 1 small peeled chopped onion
  • 2 vegetable or chicken boullion cubes
  • 1/8 tsp anise
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped


  1. Cut two cross-cut slits in the outer shell of the chestnuts with a sharp knife (the outer shell may come off at this time, but the inner skin will remain), and place them in a large saucepan. Cover them with boiling water, and boil for 15-25 minutes.
  2. Remove chestnuts from heat. Remove shells and inner skin (make sure to remove all of the inner skin, because it has a bitter flavor). The skins will come off more easily while the chestnuts are hot, so keep them in the hot water and take them out a few at a time. It's a bit of a balancing act to keep the chestnuts hot enough that the shells come off easily, but cool enough that they don't burn your fingers.
  3. Drop the shelled chestnuts into boiling water or milk, and add 1 cup of the chopped celery, and all of the onion, boullion cubes, and anise. Cook until tender. Drain well.
  4. Add the melted butter, and mash. Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add salt, pepper, cream and bread crumbs. Stir in remaining celery, raisins, and apple.
  5. Use the dressing to stuff a pheasant or other poultry, or place it in a casserole dish and heat in a 350F oven until heated through.