Rice And Sausage Stuffing
- Servings: 6 to 8.
Whether it's for Thanksgiving dinner, another holiday, or for serving with turkey or chicken throughout the year, stuffing is a highly personal choice. Some might not be able to imagine one made without bread, but for others, whether for reasons of flavor, or to respond to a gluten problem, bread isn't an option.
In this recipe, which I grew up eating at every Thanksgiving, white long grained rice and wild rice -- which isn't really rice at all but rather a member of the grass family -- takes the place of bread and is combined with savory sausage, sage and pine nuts.
Remember that stuffing can be cooked without a turkey, either stuffed in a large capon or else just baked in the oven, which is when we change its name from stuffing to dressing.
If you prefer a non-pork sausage, you can easily substitute one made with chicken or turkey. These tend to have less fat so you may need to add a little extra virgin olive oil to the mixture.
- 2 cups long grain white rice (Uncle Ben's or Lundberg Farms organic rice are both good choices)
- 1/2 cup wild rice
- 1 pound pork sausage, bought in bulk or removed from its casings
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 4 to 6 fresh sage leaves, chopped into fine pieces or cut chiffonade
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)
- Cook 2 cups of long grain white rice according to the instructions on the packaging. Cook until tender.
- Cook 1/2 cup wild rice according to the instructions on its packaging. This can take about 45 minutes to cook so plan accordingly.
- While the rices cooks, sauté the sausage, breaking it into small, one-inch or so pieces as it cooks. Drain and discard any rendered fat.
- In a dry skillet, toast the pine nuts. Watch them carefully as they toast as pine nuts can easily burn.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the cooked rice and wild rice, the drained sausage, toasted pine nuts, and about 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh sage that's been cut into small pieces, plus salt and pepper to taste. Remember that the sausage is probably highly seasoned so taste before adding any seasonings.
- If you like something sweet in your stuffing you can also add dried cranberries.
- Mix gently to combine. Use the mixture at this point to stuff your turkey. If you prefer to bake it as a dressing, transfer the mixture to an ovenproof baking dish and bake at 350° F until warmed through and the top begins to get crusty.