3 1/2 pounds chestnuts (divided)
1 tablespoon oil
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup chopped onions
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound ground sausage meat
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
3/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup cognac
With a chestnut knife, make crisscross slashes, in the pointed end of the chestnuts. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the chestnuts. Cook over high heat for 5 minutes shaking the pan constantly. After cooling, remove the shells and brown skins. Cook the chestnuts in the broth for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain (reserving the broth for soup.) Chop 1/4 of the chestnuts coarsely. Set aside. Mash the remainder of the chestnuts. Soak the bread crumbs in the cognac.
Sauté the onions in the butter for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the sausage meat, parsley, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper. Stir constantly as it cooks for about 5 minutes. Mix in the mashed and chopped chestnuts, the bread crumb-cognac mixture.
When cool mix with your hands and stuff into the cavity of your 12 pound turkey. Cook turkey immediately.
For those of you who are not gourmet cooks, you may prepare 2 pounds of chestnuts according to the instructions above, chop them and add to your favourite pre-packaged stuffing mix.
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