Anya's alternative bread stuffing

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Indy Lifestyle Online

I was invited to my friend Anya's for a Thanksgiving Day meal last month, and she kept apologising about the stuffing for her turkey, which I thought tasted great. She explained that while she was trying to get the bread to dry to make breadcrumbs, she had left the cut pieces in the oven too long and they had become almost crouton-like. Here's her recipe.

1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
4-5 sticks of celery, peeled if stringy and cut into rough 1cm cubes
2-3tbsp olive oil
100ml water
1 small loaf of white bread, crusts removed and cut into rough 1cm chunks
1tbsp chopped thyme
2tbsp chopped parsley
15 chestnuts, roasted, peeled and quartered (you can use pre-peeled ones)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 5. Gently cook the onion and celery in the olive oil for 3-4 minutes with a lid on, stirring every so often, add the water, season and continue cooking on a medium heat until the liquid has evaporated and the celery is tender. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, put the bread on a tray and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly coloured. Mix the celery mixture, bread, chestnuts and herbs together and season. Stuff the large cavity of your bird with this mixture and then roast for 1-1 1/2 hours with the legs, basting regularly.

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