Chestnut, Leek, Herb Bread PuddingCourse: DinnerCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Intermediate
I love this recipe and when I make it for Thanksgiving or a holiday meal, it gets gobbled up. I share this recipe with everyone. It also tastes wonderful after a few days. For leftovers, it is good reheated or if you lightly fry it in just a little oil so it is crisp on the edges. It is out of this world. It is decadent but it is a nice change from the usual stuffing. Make sure to use fresh herbs and to save yourself the task, but the chestnuts already out of their shell. I usually buy mine from Williams-Sonoma. 1 jar from there is plenty.
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
12-15 oz jar of steamed chestnuts
1 loaf artisan bread
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-5 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and then cut 1/4 inch slices
2 large celery ribs, cut crosswise, 1/4 inch slices
1 lb cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, quartered
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 Tablespoons minced sage leaves
2 1/2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups heavy cream, I sometimes use 1 cup half and half and 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a deep 9×13 baking pan with 1 Tablespoon butter. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
- Trim the ends off the loaf, then cut the bread into 3/4 inch cubes. Spread on two baking sheets. Toast in oven until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Cut the chestnuts in half or just crumble them a little and add to the bread cubes in a large bowl. In a large skillet, melt the remaining 3 Tablespoons butter over medium high heat. Swirl pan to coat with butter, add the garlic, leeks and celery. Saute until soft and just beginning to brown. Add the mushrooms and saute until lightly browned and just beginning to give off some liquid. Add the fresh herbs and cook 1 minute longer. Add the stock to the pan and bring to a simmer. Add the mixture to the bread cubes in the large bowl. Mix well.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and cream together. Pour over the bread crumbs and stir to combine. Spoon bread pudding into prepared pan. Bake, uncovered, until top is nicely browned and crusty, about 50 minutes.
- If you have room in your oven, bake the bread pudding while the turkey is roasting. Or bake the bread pudding while the turkey rests. If made early, this can be reheated.