Turkey stuffing in predominately Italian cookbook; what is this all about? I only say that because when we think of turkey what do we think of; holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Obviously Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Italy and yes they do eat turkey. As a matter of fact they have been stuffing animal meats and birds for centuries. The reason for the stuffing in Italy is a little different than we see it here in the US. Americans have the stuffing as a side dish and the Italians use it to increase the food volume of whatever they're stuffing. Another thing they often do is to de-bone the meat to have a larger cavity for the stuffing. At serving time the meat is cut cross section so each serving slice has the stuffing in the center of the meat; now isn't that a nice age old novelty. This recipe can be used for any type of poultry, pork loin, rabbit, breast of veal, whatever.


  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 2 stalks of chopped celery including leafs
  • 1-2 sticks of butter
  • Some good olive oil
  • 1-2 large loafs of somewhat stale day-old Italian bread, soak in water, break up into pieces and squeeze out most of the excess water
  • 1/2 lb Italian sausage meat without fennel seeds or buy the links and peal out the meat.
  • 3 chopped corded apples
  • 1/2 lb of chestnuts
  • 1/4 lb. of fresh sliced mushrooms or a can or two of Italian straw mushrooms
  • 1-2 cup of chicken stock (broth) also use beef or veal stock pending what you're stuffing.
  • 1/2 cup of good white wine and remember, do not cook with any wine you wouldn't drink.
  • 2-4 cloves of fresh chopped garlic
  • A handful of chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
  • Some fresh chopped sage to taste
  • A good handful of raisins
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


With a sharp knife, cut slits in the tops of the chestnuts and place them in a medium saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Boil over high heat and when up to temp, cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Drain the pan and let the chestnuts cool down enough to handle. Peel the chestnuts using a sharp knife and chop coarsely. You can substitute two cups of canned chestnuts if you want but honestly, don't go there.

In a large heavy bottomed pot over med / high heat add some oil and an equal amount of butter and bring up to temp. Add the onion, celery, sausage meat and S & P to taste and toss well. Cook until the pork is just about done and the onions are getting translucent. Add some wine, the apples, mushrooms, chestnuts and again toss well. When the pan comes back up to temp, lower the heat to a simmer, add some garlic, thyme, raisins, parsley and the sage and simmer for about another 2-3 minutes or so, stirring occasionally then remove from heat.

While all this is going on tear up the bread and place it in a large bowl. Add some stock a little at a time to moisten the bread well but don't saturate it. Mix by hand so you can feel the consistency and wetness keeping it on the drier side. Use your good judgment because you will be tossing the bread into pan and mixing everything together. So remember, there is a lot a juice in that pan and if it's too wet you'll be running around looking for more bread?? After its mixed well and just moist enough, taste it. Does it need anything; then FIX-IT. I sure as heck can't do it from here and there is no one better than you that knows what you like to eat. Set aside until needed. Now you can stuff that bird, the rabbit or whatever you fancy. If you are going to use it as a side dish, put it in a baking pan in the oven on the top shelf at high heat to get a little crustiness on the top.

Miss Adele Just: I have never seen Alice's Restaurant cookbook and not a clue what was in the stuffing but try this recipe and addjust as you see fit.

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Submitted 7/10/05.