Sausage, Chestnut & Apple Stuffing

6 tablespoons butter

2 medium apples, peeled and finely chopped

4 small ribs celery with leafy tops, finely chopped

2 small onions, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

1 large bay leaf

2 tablespoons thyme, finely chopped

1 tablespoon lemon or orange zest

3 to 4 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

1 pound mild Italian pork or turkey sausage

1/4 cup Calvados or brandy (apple brandy)

About 3 cups Pepperidge Farm seasoned stuffing mix or homemade toasted breadstuffing with poultry seasoning

Celery salt

Turkey or chicken stock, to moisten

1 cup roasted or jarred chestnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Melt butter in a skillet; add apple, celery and onion. Season with salt, pepper, bay and thyme, and cook until tender, 10 minutes or so. Add parsley remove bay leaf.  Stir in stuffing bread, season with a little celery salt and moisten with stock, adding just enough to make bread damp but not wet.  Brown sausage until  lightly brown–do not cook sausage until dry; add chopped chestnuts.  Deglaze sausage/chestnut pan with Calvados or brandy, and flambe to burn off alcohol. Stir in stuffing/veggie mix until well combines, transfer to a casserole dish and bake for 35–40 minutes.

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