When I decided to go wheat-free almost two years ago I knew that there would be certain things I would miss – like crusty French baguettes, crunchy biscotti and Thanksgiving stuffing. Thankfully I had a lot of time to figure out how to make it through my first Thanksgiving without wheat. I have Eileen B to thank for introducing me to an amazing rice stuffing that has so many good things in it you don’t even miss the bread. It helped that my favorite traditional bread stuffing recipe also contained wild rice so many of the flavors were the same. Plus I did sneak in some wheat-free ingredients from that old recipe into my new stuffing.
In addition to being so flavorful this recipe is easily adaptable. Use dried cranberries instead of cherries. Add walnuts or chestnuts. Mix up the mushrooms. Add ground sausage. You really can’t go wrong.
Want to make this vegetarian? Use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth. There’s so much going on in this stuffing your vegetarian family and friends will not miss the turkey.
My brother-in-law, Colin S, was suspicious of a non-bread stuffing and chose to make his favorite stuffing, too. I’m pleased to report that both of our stuffings were very well received. Thankfully he didn’t try to make his wheat-free by using gluten-free bread. That I do not recommend at all!
About the rice: For ease I used a wild rice and brown rice blend. If you prefer you can buy them separately and then combine them in the same pot (make sure that the cooking times are the same). If you were to use white rice instead of brown rice you’ll want to cook the wild rice for about 30 minutes and then add the white rice to the same pot – cook for another 20 minutes. Wild rice and brown rice take about the same time to cook (45 to 50 minutes). Most white rice takes about 20 minutes. Best to read the instructions on the box for cooking times.
Holiday Tips: The stuffing can be prepared up to the baking step one day in advance. All that’s left to do is to put it in the oven or stuff the turkey with it. This dish also travels well as you can do everything but bake it the day prior.
|Wild Rice Stuffing with Mushrooms|| || |
- 2-1/2 cups wild rice and brown rice blend
- 5 cups canned low-salt chicken or vegetable broth
- 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
- 4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided
- 4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage, divided
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 large sweet onions (~ 2-3/4 pounds), chopped
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 cup (~ 6 ounces) dried cherries
- 1 pound (16 ounces) crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
- 5 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
- In a 5 quart pot, bring rice, broth, 1 teaspoon each of thyme, rosemary and sage to boil. Reduce heat to low to simmer and cover. Cook for 45 minutes or until rice is tender and almost all of the liquid has absorbed.
- While rice is cooking, in a 6 to 7 quart pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onions, celery and cherries. Sauté until very tender and onions have caramelized, about 25 minutes. Transfer mixture to large bowl.
- Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in same pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and 2 teaspoons each of thyme, rosemary and sage and white wine; sauté until mushrooms are deep brown, about 12 minutes. Add to bowl with onions, celery and cherries. Season with salt and pepper.
- When rice is cooked add to bowl with onions, celery and cherries. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon each of thyme, rosemary and sage and ¾ cup parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
- To bake all of stuffing in baking dish: Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter 3 quart baking dish. Transfer stuffing to prepared dish. Cover with buttered foil, buttered side down. Bake until heated through, about 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is slightly crisp and golden, about 20 minutes longer.
- To bake stuffing in turkey and baking dish: Loosely fill neck and main cavities of turkey with stuffing. Generously butter a separate baking dish. Spoon remaining stuffing into prepared dish. Cover with buttered foil, buttered side down. Bake stuffing in dish along side turkey until heated through, about 25 minutes. Uncover stuffing. Bake until top of stuffing is slightly crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer.
- Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley over stuffing and serve.
* The onion-mushroom mixture and rice take roughly the same time to cook. If the rice finishes early just leave the pot covered until you’re ready to add it to the onion-mushroom mixture. This recipe is very forgiving.
* The mixture can be prepared up to the baking step one day in advance. Store in prepared buttered baking dish (if you’re baking the entire batch).
* Make this vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
Source: Variation on recipe from Bon Appétit, November 2001