“Our garden herbs are still fresh, right?” I asked.
“Yes,” Suzen said.
“And you love pine nuts, right?”
“What do you want, Brian.” She was now on alert.
“Well, I found this stuffing recipe that uses them and I just thought …”
“Let me see,” she asked and extended her hand for the cookbook I was holding.
“Oh,” she continued, “wild rice. Yum, my favorite.” She handed me back the book.
She is not a fan of wild rice. I am. We will not be cooking this stuffing this year, or probably any other. Normally, I don’t blog a recipe Suzen and I haven’t tested, but this comes from Diane Morgan, so we know this recipe will work. I know this recipe will be delicious. I just hope that someone, somewhere is able to enjoy what I am not. If you’d just like to drop me a note telling me how wonderful it was, well, that would give me some satisfaction.
I have to stop blogging now. I have bread crumbs to make. For stuffing. I wonder if I can cut them into the shape of little rice grains?
Wild Rice Stuffing with Pine Nuts, Dried Apricots, and Fresh Herbs
Yield: serves 6 to 8
- 2 cups wild rice
- 2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup pine nuts
- ¾ cup dried apricots, quartered
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large ribs celery, finely chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion (about 8 ounces), finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
- ½ cup minced fresh parsley
- Freshly ground pepper
In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, stock, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes. (Not all of the liquid will be absorbed.)
Meanwhile, place a small, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, but not smoking, add the pine nuts. Stirring constantly, toast them until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside to cool.
Place the dried apricots in a small bowl, add hot water to cover, and allow to plump for 20 minutes. Drain and reserve.
In a 10-inch sauté pan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Swirl to coat the pan and sauté the celery, carrots, and onion until soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, sage, and parsley and sauté 1 more minute. Remove from the heat.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. When the rice is tender, add the sautéed vegetable mixture to the rice. Add the reserved pine nuts and apricots, and stir to combine. Add the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Use the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter to grease an oven-to-table casserole dish. Spoon in the rice stuffing and cover. Twenty minutes before serving, bake the stuffing until heated through. (The stuffing can be made up to 1 day in advance. Refrigerate, covered, and bring to room temperature 1 hour before baking. Increase the baking time to 40 minutes to insure it’s heated through.)
Source: The New Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan
Your Thanksgiving meal is done. The football games are over. Guests are gone. Cleanup, sadly, is necessary.
Here is what NOT to do. Don’t throw away that leftover turkey carcass. Even if most of the meat is devoured, save the carcass. You are about to make quarts and quarts of turkey stock for soup, sauces, and to give you a head start on the stock you’ll need for that Christmas turkey!
First, remove any seriously large chunks of meat remaining on turkey. I’m talking about the ingredients for sandwiches tomorrow. But do not try to pick off every last pieces of meat. A purely naked carcass will produce a less rich stock. And, personally, I think dark meat scraps produce a better stock and they are already snuggly hidden on the bottom anyway.
Break the carcass into a half dozen pieces, using a knife at first and then just crushing with your hand. Use a mitt or glove to protect yourself from turkey bone shards. The last place you want to be late on Thanksgiving Day is the Emergency Room. You’ll wait for hours as they deal with those idiots who just attempted their first deep frying experiment.
Yesterday’s blog was about making stock from giblets. This stock is decidedly different, but honestly they are both wonderful and you’ll enjoy them equally.
Full Carcass Turkey Stock
Yield: 4 to 5 quarts
- 1 meaty turkey carcass, chopped into large pieces
- 2 medium carrots (do not peel), but cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 large yellow onion (do not peel), cut in half
- 2 large ribs celery, with leaves, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 sprigs fresh parsley
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
Put the chopped turkey carcass in an 8-quart stockpot and add cold water to cover, leaving 2 inches of space at the top of the pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Using a large spoon or soup skimmer, skim off the brown foam that rises to the top.
After 5 minutes or so, the foam will become white, and no more skimming will be necessary. Add the carrots, onion, celery, peppercorns, bay leaf, parsley, and thyme. Partially cover the pot and adjust the heat so the stock barely simmers. Simmer the stock for at least 2 but preferably 4 hours, adding water, if necessary, to keep the bones covered
Source: The New Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan