Stuffing Your Holiday Turkey with Pancetta and Chestnut dressing

Giving credit to Giada DeLaurentiis

Ok, so I do realize that Thanksgiving is OVER, but hey the holidays are NOT.  So in light of the fact that Christmas is right around the corner I would like you to consider this dressing if you choose to have Turkey as your Christmas dinners main dish.  I AM!

OMGOSH! This is the worlds BEST dressing/stuffing EVER! And I am a total dressing/stuffing snob! It is Giada DeLaurentiis’s and I kid you not when I say you will be dreaming about it every day after you eat it. You will want to make it again and again, you will look for reasons to make it! You will create new holidays just so you can make this dressing again! I am not going to going into the “making” of it here because Giada does a spectacular job of that already check it out.

My new blogging friend “She’s a Maniac” turned me on to it! She “says” she is a bad cook….I think NOT. If she made this dressing it is proof positive that she has great taste and discernment on what is good and what is not.  Thank you so much Darla!

I will say this….The chestnut part may discourage you…..well don’t let it! And by all means do NOT leave them out! I almost did.  Yes, the dressing will still be fabulous, but I simply cannot imagine (now that I know) not having that GLORIOUS chestnutty flavor in it. You can find them at “World Market”….don’t even bother going to your local grocery store….they will take you to the “water chestnuts” or produce, and tell you you have to roast your own every time.  The best thing to do if you do not have a World Mkt is talk to your local grocery store ordering manager (or what ever you call them) and let him know about a month in advance to please order you some chestnuts in a jar….tell him it is usually a “seasonal item” and that you would like to know if he can get it for you. He probably can. I did find one manager that knew exactly what I was talking about and had ordered some….but they would not arrive in time for my Thanksgiving prep. The best bet is a food specialty store….and be prepared ….they will be a bit spendy ….I got mine 1/2 off….you may not be that lucky…but trust me….they are WORTH every dime ….some things are just worth that high price trust me you won’t regret it.

Start with your basic turkey....and I made up my dressing the day before, because it takes a bit of time to prepare.

......And needs to be an active part of the preparation.


You  must get up at the butt crack of dawn (notice how dark it still is out the widow behind me?)….and of course in your jammies…cause you may want to go back to bed after you stuff the turkey….I “have” done that in the past….but mostly NOT.  It was somewhere around 6am in this photo. A twenty pound turkey needs to cook around 6.5 hrs.

I experimented this time and used "cheesecloth" to line the turkey cavity before stuffing.

This proved to be a really great choice! It made it so easy to get the stuffing out after it was cooked….I think it cut down on the drippings though and so I had to really stretch to have enough for the gravy after all the basting of the panned stuffing and what ever I used to baste the turkey while it was cooking. Still I would say definitely worth it.

Unfold until it is only one this.

shove it up the turkeys butt.....Sorry, but I really enjoyed writing that!

Stuff the bird nice and full inside that cheesecloth.

Twist the cheesecloth after your done and snip it.

 Then flip  the bird over and stuff the neck too!

Don't forget to stuff the neck.

cram it full as you can!


Pull the skin up over the opening.

Secure it with anything you can find that will go in the oven...I used a cut shishkabob skewer.

Flip that bird back over and you are done!

Cover loosely with "heavy duty foil" and your cookin!

 Now go back to bed and sleep for another couple of hours! Your going to have a big day ahead!






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