Christmas period is full of happy moments, like eating stuffed turkey, decorating a Christmas tree or unboxing presents on Christmas Day.
These traditions have not always been a part of Greece.
Although Greece has been greatly influenced by Western culture, each region still has its own unique Christmas traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation.
After the long period (40 days) of Christmas Lent, it’s common in many areas to eat chicken soup on Christmas Day.
As well as, a lot of different pork dishes are prepared, since it’s the time of the year when pigs are slaughtered.
In other regions, it is customary to stuff a chicken with chestnuts, raisins, prunes, onions, dried apricots and minced meat.
Christmas dinner for us is all about the stuffing!
Today’s recipe will be perfecting the festive stuffing recipe with chestnuts and bacon.
It is ideal for creating the best Christmas table!
The sweetness of the dried fruits plays a wonderful game with the earthy tones of the chestnuts and pine nuts.
This easy Christmas stuffing can be prepared as a side dish on its own or it can be used to stuff a whole chicken or a turkey.
We have a lot of family over to our house for Christmas, so we always cook a ton of food.
Our festive stuffing recipe is the first thing that everyone wants and the first one that always finishes!
There are a lot of variations for Christmas chicken/turkey stuffing.
What makes this the perfect one, is that it will please even the pickiest eaters.
So, what is the secret? Let’s find out…
The Perfect Easy Christmas Stuffing
Chestnut and bacon stuffing should be rich and juicy.
To achieve this, I start off by sautéing the minced meat until it’s lightly browned.
I continue by adding the garlic, onion and bacon.
I allow the bacon to bring out its tasty fat and let the onions to caramelize.
Then, I deglaze with a really good dry white wine (not cheap stuff) and scrape all the beautiful flavors from my pan with a spatula.
Once that’s done, I add the chicken stock, remove the pan from the heat and then add the rest of the ingredients.
I mix well to ensure that all the ingredients are well combined.
Next, I cover a pan with a piece of parchment paper and add my delicious stuffing.
I seal the pan with another piece of parchment paper, that I carefully tuck under my stuffing.
Finally, I cover the pan with aluminum foil.
This will ensure that the stuffing keeps moist and juicy while it cooks in the oven.
Variations To Consider
- I love chicken giblets in my Christmas stuffing, but not everybody does.
We haven’t added any in our recipe, because in our family, some people don’t eat them at all (we are trying to please everyone).
If your family loves chicken giblets, you should add them!
I think they give it so much extra flavor and taste.
If you decide to add chicken giblets to your Christmas stuffing, add them when you are sautéing the minced meat and continue the recipe as follows.
- Alternatively, in place of the bacon, I’ve sometimes added some really good pork sausage that I have previously minced in the blender.
The result is an extraordinary rich and flavorful stuffing.
This easy Christmas stuffing, is a crowd pleaser.
If you’ve entertained people over Christmas, you will know how tiring it is to cook dinner, prepare the house and look your best at the same time.
This year make your life a bit easier, have a bit more fun and don’t stress too much over the kitchen stove.
Let us know how it turned out!
Share your family Christmas recipes with us… and have yourself a merry little Christmas!
P.S: A very nice idea is to serve this delicious Christmas stuffing as a side dish to the “rosemary roasted chicken with lemon potatoes” recipe.
It’s a budget-friendly alternative to a fancy Christmas dinner, that will compete even the best whole roasted turkey recipes!
- 500gr. ground beef meat
- 60ml. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 big onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 150gr. smoked bacon (or pork sausage), finely chopped
- 60ml. dry white wine
- 100ml. chicken stock
- 200gr. vac-packed chestnuts, halved
- 60gr. dry prunes (approximately 5 dry prunes), roughly chopped
- 40gr. dry apricots (approximately 3 dry apricots), roughly chopped
- 50gr. pine nuts
- 15gr. dry raisins
- 1 orange, zest only
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius/fan mode.
On high heat, add olive oil in a pan.
Add the ground beef and sauté for 5-6 minutes until lightly browned.
Stir constantly with a spatula to break the clumps.
Add the bacon, onion and garlic and stir again.
Sauté for 2-3 minutes and then deglaze with the white wine.
Cook until the wine completely evaporates and pour in the chicken stock.
Bring to a boil and then remove the pan from the heat.
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until nicely combined.
Season carefully, because bacon and chicken stock are already salty.
Line a 26x26 baking pan with parchment paper.
Add the stuffing and cover with another piece of parchment paper, which you will then tuck under the stuffing.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and transfer into the oven.
Bake for approximately 1 hour, until the stuffing is cooked and has a nice crunchy surface.
If you plan to stuff a chicken or turkey, leave the stuffing to completely cool.
If you plan to offer it as a side dish, serve immediately on a big platter.