By Flavia Poon

Makes 8 to 10 servings

1 loaf (about 1½ pounds) white sourdough or
country-style bread
1/2 pound cooked chestnuts (optional)
1 1/2 cups pitted prunes, quartered
3 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh sage or 1/2 tsp dried sage or
ground cloves
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2 cups chicken broth

Trim the crusts off the bread. Cut the bread into 3/4-inch cubes. Place the bread cubes into an extra-large bowl.

Using the flat side of a large knife blade, gently press down on the chestnuts (if using) to create large chunks. Add the chestnuts to the bowl, along with the prunes, apples, parsley, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Toss the ingredients to combine well.

In a large skillet or sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, increase the heat, and bring the broth just up to a gentle boil. (At this stage, if you are planning to stuff a turkey, make sure your turkey is seasoned and ready to be stuffed, trussed, and placed in the oven.)

Transfer the vegetable and broth mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Using a large spatula, stir the ingredients to combine well. Loosely stuff the neck and body cavities of the turkey and proceed with your turkey recipe (or see our recipe on page 26).

This stuffing recipe (or any leftovers that don’t fit into the turkey cavities) can also be baked on its own. Transfer the hot stuffing to a greased baking dish. Cover loosely with a sheet of foil. Bake in a 375°F oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the top is lightly browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.