Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing with Chestnuts, Leeks, and Chantarelles
This stuffing is just the thing to serve alongside meat (such as turkey on thanksgiving, natch) or as a vegetarian main dish topped with a crumble of fresh goat cheese, with some green vegetables on the side and a glass of crisp white wine to wash it all down.
Place the dried porcini in a heat-proof bowl or measuring cup, and add 2 cups of boiling water. Let stand while you get on with the recipe, 20 minutes or longer.
Toast the cornbread:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 300ºF (150ºC). Spread the cubed cornbread on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper for easy clean-up. Bake until dried out and lightly toasted, 20-30 minutes. Remove and let cool, then place in a very large bowl and set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 375ºF (190ºC).
Cook the mushrooms:
Rinse the chanterelles briefly under running water, drain well, and use a paper towel or two to wipe off any clinging dirt. Slice the stems fairly thinly, and cut the crowns into 1-inch (2.5 cm)pieces.
Coat a 10-inch (25 coven-proof (such as cast-iroskillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over a high flame until the oil shimmers. Add half the mushrooms in a single layer, and saute on high, shuffling the pan frequently, until the pan is dry and the mushrooms are glazed and tender, 5-10 minutes. Tip the mushrooms into the bowl on top of the cornbread. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms.
Cook the veg:
Meanwhile, soak the sliced leeks in a bowl of cool water, separating the rings and letting any sandy dirt to sink to the bottom of the bowl.
To the now-empty skillet, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and warm over a medium flame until it shimmers. Lift the leeks out of their bowl, shake off any excess water, and add them to the hot pan along with the shallot, fennel, celery, thyme, and salt.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are wilted and crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Add the wine, and continue cooking until the pan is dry. Add the leek mixture to the bowl with the cornbread and mushrooms. Reserve the skillet - no need to wash.
Assemble the stuffing:
Scoop the soaked porcini out of their soaking liquid, reserving the liquid and squeezing the porcini dry. Chop the porcini finely and add to the stuffing mixture. Add the parsley and sliced chestnuts, and stir the stuffing gently to combine. Gently strain the porcini "stock" through a fine-mesh sieve, leaving behind any sandy dirt that may be hanging out at the bottom. (You can strain the liquid through a coffee filter to be extra safe, if you like.) Pour the porcini "stock" over the stuffing, and toss gently to moisten evenly. Scoop the stuffing back into the skillet (or into a greased 9x13" baking pan). Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Bake the stuffing at 375ºF (190ºC) until heated through and golden and crisp on the top, 20-30 minutes. Serve the stuffing warm. Extras keep well, refrigerated, for up to several days and reheat beautifully (just don't store them in your cast-iron skillet).
The cornbread recipe makes a little more than you'll need for the recipe. This is a good thing because, it you're like us, you'll be hard pressed to resist the lovely aroma emanating from the oven, and can unabashedly slice off the edges to eat warm, topped with butter.If you can't find chanterelles, don't fret – crimini, shiitake, button, or wild mushrooms of your choice will work, too (or a combination).I like making the whole thing – cornbread, cooked veg, and stuffing – in my 10" cast-iron skillet with 2" high sides, but it could just as easily go in a 9x13" rectangular pan, or the equivalent. If you go with cast-iron, don't store the stuffing for more than a day in the pan or the acids in the stuffing will leach iron from the pan, giving the corners of the stuffing a slightly metallic flavor.Nutritional values are based on one of six main course servings.