Note to self: Make this wild rice stuffing all year long. It went great with the turkey on Thanksgiving, but it stands on its own as well. Stuffing is one of my favorite parts of the Thanksgiving meal so giving it up would be awfully sad. We had this on the table and I don’t think anyone missed the “traditional” stuffing.
Wild Rice Stuffing with Sausage and Wild Mushrooms
1 pound wild rice
3 cups chicken stock plus 3 cups water
1 pound ground mild pork sausage
1 large onion, chopped (about 3 cups)
5 celery ribs, chopped (about 2 cups)
8 cups mushrooms, chopped (I used mostly shitake, and some oyster and button)
1 Tablespoon sage, minced
1 Tablespoon thyme, minced
3 Tablespoons red wine
Rinse the wild rice under cold water. Cook the rice in the broth and water according to the brand’s instructions.
While the rice is cooking, brown the sausage in a large skillet. When cooked through, remove the sausage and set aside. In the same skillet, saute the onion, celery, and half of the chopped herbs. If there is not enough fat from the sausage left, add 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil.
When the celery and onions are translucent and soft, add the chopped mushrooms. Saute over low-medium heat until the mushrooms are cooked through. Cover the skillet when you’re not stirring. Add the sausage back into the vegetable mixture. Add the red wine and cook over medium-high heat until it’s cooked off- just about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
When the rice is done, combine it with the sausage mixture in the skillet. I removed three cups of the wild rice at this point to reserve for another use. I also like my stuffing heavy on the sausage and vegetables. You can add all of the rice if preferred. Taste the mixture for salt and pepper. Taste for herbs and add more of the minced herbs if desired.
Now, you can either stuff the bird with this mixture or you can bake the rice in the skillet at 400 for about 30 minutes right before serving. If you make this stuffing the day before or it feels dry, add another 1/2 a cup of broth or water before putting in the oven.