by Cat, Nov 2013 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
I first learned about this important seed when I read a novel by Louise Erdrich, who is part Chippawa. I had to give it a try, and now it’s the only type of rice I eat (though it is not a true rice).
Wild rice does not come from the same plant as traditional (Asian) rice, and is technically not a cereal grain. Wild rice was first cultivated by native/first peoples in North America, where it was grown in marshes of the northern great plains. It is rich in protein, high in B-complex vitamins, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc. It is relatively low in fat, so be sure to add plenty of butter.
It takes longer to cook than traditional rice, and also benefits from soaking in whey for at least 7 hours before cooking.
- Includes: 1. Al’s Wild Rice Stuffing; 2. Wild Rice Stuffing with Nuts, Apples, and/or Cranberries
- See also: 1. Sides Menu; 2. Steamed Wild Rice for more about wild rice
- Other sites: Two similar recipes: 1.IowaGirlEats (2); 2. All Recipes (3)
Al’s Wild Rice and Mushroom Stuffing
This is from Al Franken, Senator form Minnesota, but I don’t recall where I found the recipe. Wild Rice is native to the land of 1,000 lakes, both in Minnesota and Canada, where it was cultivated and treasured by our Native Americans/First Peoples. Their name for wild rice is Mahnomen.
If you have the time, I highly recommend pre-soaking the wild rice before cooking as instructed; it will cook in less time (see Steamed Wild Rice for soaking instructions).
Makes enough to stuff a turkey, with some left over.
- 1 lb. Wild rice (Mahnomen)
- one stick (½ cup) real butter
- ten cloves of garlic
- 3 medium sized yellow onions
- 4 stalks of celery
- 2 lbs. white button mushrooms or cremini (baby bellas)
- Unrefined sea salt to taste
- Saucier or pot large enough to cook 1 lb wild rice
- Cast iron skillet
- In a colander, rinse the wild rice.
- Put the rice in a pot, and cover with 3 inches of water. Boil, uncovered, for about 20 to 25 minutes. If you’re using Mahnomen wild rice, it will cook more quickly than the paddy variety.
- While the rice is boiling, slice (do not mince) the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and celery.
- Melt the butter in a skillet, and sauté the onions, garlic, and celery until they begin to bleed a little liquid into the butter. Then add the mushrooms. The celery and onions should not be totally soft.
- Once the rice has cooked, drain it and add to the sautéed vegetables.
- Add salt to taste, and stuff into the turkey before roasting. The rest can be eaten as a side dish at dinner.
Wild Rice Stuffing with Apples and Nuts, and/or Cranberries
I’ve adapted this from a recipe on a bag of Fall River Wild Rice (1); unfortunately the recipe instructions are not complete, so I use info from 3 online recipes:
- IowaGirlEats (3): Wild Rice Stuffing with Cranberries and Almonds,
- All Recipes (3): Wild Rice Stuffing with Apples, Herbs and Bacon, and
- Epicurious (4): Wild Rice, Apple and Cranberry Stuffing
Both the Fall River and Epicurious recipes use both wild rice and bread crumbs; the other two recipes don’t add bread crumbs. I will update recipe with my findings when I test it.
This makes enough to fill a 14-pound turkey, but you can easily halve the recipe to make less, such as for chicken, duck or goose.
I have not yet tested this recipe.
Ingredients & Equipment
- ⅔ cup wild rice
- 3 cups homemade chicken stock
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 medium onion or large shallot
- 3 stalks celery
- 3 cloves garlic (optional)
- ½ lb (8 oz) mushrooms (optional)
- 2 cups bread crumbs (I use homemade whole wheat rusk, crumbled by hand) *
- 1 cup diced apple
- ¼ cup dried cranberries (optional)
- ½ cup chopped nuts (I prefer pecans or almonds)
- 1 tsp crushed, dried oregano or marjoram
- ½ tsp crushed, dried sage
- ¼ tsp dried thyme (optional)
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 12″ cast iron skillet
- large bowl
‘* For stuffing ducks or geese: substitute ½ cup cooked and crumbled sausage for the breadcrumbs
- Crumbs: If using homemade rusk, prepare and dry it at least 1-day ahead, then crush enough crumbs for the recipe. Dried rusk slices will last a long time if you put what you didn’t use in a sealed bag and keep in a dry, cool place.
- Wild rice: Combine wild rice and stock in saucepan with some salt. Bring to boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 -75 minutes until rice is tender, and most seeds have opened. (Continued below, after prep).
- Meanwhile, prep veggies, etc.:
- Cut bacon into 1-inch pieces,
- Chop celery and onion/scallion,
- Mince garlic (if using), and add to celery mix
- Slice mushrooms (if using),
- Measure and combine herbs,
- Dice unpeeled apple,
- Chop nuts, and
- Measure dried cranberries (if using), and combine with nuts;
- Meanwhile, cut bacon into 1-inch pieces, then sauté in a large, 12″ skillet over medium heat until evenly brown; transfer to bowl, reserving bacon fat in skillet. Crumble bacon or leave as pieces.
- Increase heat to medium-high; melt butter in skillet and add celery, onion/shallots, garlic (if using), and mushrooms, if using. Once ‘shrooms have released their liquid and begin to brown, about 8 minutes, add apples and herbs, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Continue to sauté until mushrooms are golden brown and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Once rice is tender, remove from heat and drain off any excess liquid, reserving a portion in case it is needed when you mix the stuffing.
- Add bacon, mushroom/veggie/apple mix, chopped nuts and dried cranberries (if using) to rice; mix to combine, adding a splash of the reserved liquid (from the rice) if need to loosen the stuffing.
- Fall River: frwr.com
- IowaGirlEats: Wild Rice Stuffing with Cranberries and Almonds (iowagirleats.com/2016/11/16/best-ever-wild-rice-stuffing/)
- All Recipes: Wild Rice Stuffing with Apples, Herbs and Bacon (.allrecipes.com/recipe/43769/rice-stuffing-with-apples-herbs-and-bacon/)
- Epicurious: epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/wild-rice-apple-and-dried-cranberry-stuffing-108759