- Course: Main Course
- Total Time: Under 30 Minutes
- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Moderate
- Favorited: 15 Times
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 1/3 cup finely diced celery, preferably with tender leaves included
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme (Spice Islands brand preferred)
- 1 small bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup Chicken Stock, giblet gravy, or milk
- 1 cup half and half
- 1½ cups chopped cooked turkey
- ¾ cup chestnuts, either leftover or fresh (see Note)
- 1 tablespoon cognac or brandy (optional)
Heat the butter in a 12-to-14-inch sauté pan until melted and foaming. Add the onion, celery, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. Stir well to coat the vegetables, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables are wilted and somewhat tender but not colored. Sprinkle the flour over, and stir well. Cook for minute, stirring constantly, then, off heat, slowly stir in the chicken stock (or other liquid), followed by the half-and-half. Return the pan to the heat, and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 1 minute, and taste for seasoning; you will most likely need more salt, unless you added gravy or stock that was highly seasoned. Add the turkey and chestnuts, and simmer until heated through. Taste again for seasoning. Add the optional booze, and cook 1 minute longer to cook off the alcohol.
Serve hot, spooned over toast or thin cornbread.
If you are using fresh chestnuts, peel and cook them in a small amount of salted simmering water about 5–10 minutes (no need to chop the chestnuts, since they tend to break up on their own).
© 2003 Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock