- 1 large loaf or French or Italian bread
- 2 tbs unsalted butter
- 2 cups diced onion
- 1/2 lb of cooked ham, trimmed and coarsely chopped
- 1 and 1/2 cups diced celery
- 1 cup red bell pepper diced
- 2 tbs dried sage crushed
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 lb chestnuts peeled and chopped
- 4 tbs chopped parsley (curly or Italian)
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
If you bake your dressing separately it has a much better texture and flavor than dressing steamed inside of a bird. Prepare the bread crumbs the night before so they can dry overnight. Purchase a freshly cut ham slice from the meat market. You can use the roasted and peeled chestnuts packed in jars.
- The night before, tear the bread, including crusts into small pieces and leave out uncovered.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3 qt baking dish.
- In a large saute pan over medium heat melt the butter and saute the onion celery, bell pepper and ham.
- Place the bread crumbs in a large bowl. Add the sauteed vegetables and parsley and chestnuts gently mix. Add Sage.
- Slowly add stock until evenly moistened.
- Spoon loosely in into baking dish and bake until golden on top. About 40 minutes.