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Sides

Wild rice stuffing

Wild rice stuffing
Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Food brings people together, just as much as a lack of it can tear them apart. What we cook, how we cook it and when we eat it says as much about ourselves as our body language and our choice ... Read more

Total time: About 2 hours, plus cooling time | Serves 4 to 6
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/3 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Step 1Rinse wild rice in 3 changes of hot tap water. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the wild rice and chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook until the wild rice is tender, about 60 minutes. Remove from heat and drain any excess liquid. Place the rice in a medium bowl, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

Step 2In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the celery, onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the rice, salt, sage and thyme. Remove from heat and cool.

Step 3Place the stuffing in the cavity of a turkey or chicken. Roast or cook the meat until the meat is done and the stuffing reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Alternatively, place the stuffing in a baking dish, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until the stuffing is hot, 45 minutes to an hour.

Note: Wild rice is the centerpiece of the food, culture, economy and tradition of the Ojibwe people. Every fall, tribal members pole through the tall grasses in canoes, harvesting the rice by hand. With its highly textured, uneven grain, caramel color and nutty smell, true wild rice is wildly different from "paddy" or commercially available rice. "My wife has a thousand and one recipes for it, so I eat it every way," says rice grower Mike Levy. Every fall before the harvest, tribal members celebrate and give thanks for the bounty. A wild turkey, duck or other game bird is delicious with this wild stuffing.

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