Wild Rice Stuffing

A typical American stuffing or dressing recipe for a Thanksgiving turkey that you will come across involves the sautéing of onions, celery and mushrooms in butter and the addition of bread crumbs and some chicken stock. I like the non traditional twist of  a wild rice recipe because of the additional colors and flavors that are introduced. The first time I tried this recipe a few years ago, It was a total flop and it served as a lesson for future attempts because I jumped into making it without consulting anyone or any media sources. So this year I played it safe. I adapted my recipe using a wild rice and mushroom recipe at epicurious. Like their recipe, I used a combination of wild rice, a long grain white rice and mushrooms. I modified the recipe by including pieces of bratwurst sausage and a different variety of spices and some bouillon. I also added dried cranberries and bread crumbs to add to the feel of an authentic thanksgiving dish.

As I was preparing this dish, when I tasted it, the rich spicy flavors combine with the beautiful long grains of the basmati and wild rice made me realize that I had accidentally stumbled upon the secret to making Zatarains from scratch.  I guess for now, we will have to leave that idea for another recipe in the near future! Upon describing my completed dish this week to a coworker, he made an interesting point that my recipe reminded him of the stuffing he makes for stuffed peppers. I certainly agree, minus the cranberries, this recipe would work very well as a stuffing for other recipes during the rest of the year.

I choose to keep my stuffing outside the turkey and serve it as a dressing. I am always leery about stuffing my bird because of the added complexity and time  to making sure that the cavity is properly cooked. Maybe one of these years I will get more comfortable with the stuffing part. Happy Thanksgiving and happy cooking!

 

Notes:

Adapted from: Epicurious

 

Recipe

Ingredients                                                           Preparation and Cooking  Time: 50 minutes                    Yields: 4-6 Servings

½ cup wild rice

1 cup basmati rice

6 oz. baby bella (crimini) mushrooms

4 oz. celery sticks

1 oz. (3 bunches) fresh parsley

2 sausages (bratwurst or any kind)

6 oz. dried cranberries

4 oz. bread crumbs

¼ oz. bouillon (1 cube)

5 oz. red onion (medium size)

5 cups chicken broth

1 tsp. thyme

8Tbs. Butter (1 stick)

¼ tsp. salt

 

Method

note: I used a Dutch oven because it allowed me the liberty to cook on the stove top and finish off the preparation in the oven. If you do not have a Dutch oven, you can transfer the dressing after sautéing to a baking pan and place it in the oven.

(1) Wash and cut all vegetables. Chop onion,celery sticks and parsley. slice mushrooms.  Slice sausage into 1 inch pieces. Wash each type of rice separately.

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(2) Melt butter in pot at medium heat and add chopped onions. Sauté for about 3-5 min  to release flavor then add chopped celery and mushrooms  and sauté for  another 2-5  min or until water evaporates. Add sausage, sauté at medium heat for  about 10 min stirring constantly then add parsley bouillon and salt.

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(3) Add black rice first, sauté for  2-5 min then add white rice and sauté  for another 5 minutes. Stir  constantly to avoid rice sticking to the bottom.

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(4) Add 3 cups of the chicken broth, reduce heat  to between low and medium stirring every 5 minutes to avoid burning. Cook for 20 minutes or until white rice is al dente. Add the remaining 2 cups of chicken stock, add bread crumbs and place dutch oven with the lid  in the oven and cook at 350ºF for 15 minutes.

(5) When ready, serve and garnish with chopped parsley and dried cranberries

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