apricot, wild rice, and bread dressing

This recipe is for dressing, not stuffing. It is cooked on the stove top and in the oven, not in the bird. Some people like rice dressings, some bread-cube, and some cornbread. This dressing combines the first two, as they do complement each other. Putting all three together is a challenge I prefer to leave unanswered, or at least tabled for the future.

I make this mostly for company, now, because of all the carbohydrates in the rice and bread. I do eat some of it, though, because it is so good!

  • ½ cup wild rice
  • 2 cups walnuts or pecans, chopped
  • 1½ cups celery, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup <butter>
  • 1 cup white rice, long grain or basmati
  • 3 cups chicken broth (or 3 cups water and 3 bouillon cubes)
  • 1 cup apricot nectar
  • ½ cup brandy
  • 2 tsp thyme, dried, ground
  • 1 tsp sage, dried, rubbed
  • ½ tsp nutmeg, ground
  • ½ tsp pepper, fresh ground, to taste
  • 6 cups (8 oz) herbed bread-cube stuffing
  • 1 cup apricots, dried
  • 1 tsp <salt>, to taste
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped (optional)

In a 2½- to 3-quart pan over high heat, bring 1½ quarts of water to a boil. Rinse and drain wild rice and add to water. Return to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until rice begins to split, 40 to 45 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, put nuts in a 10”15” baking pan. Bake at 325F, if roasting a turkey in this oven, or at 350F, if separate, until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

In a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium high heat, stir celery and onion in butter until limp, 7 to 10 minutes. Add rice and stir until edges turn opaque, but not brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add broth, apricot nectar, brandy, thyme, sage, nutmeg, and pepper. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer until rice is tender to bite, 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir in bread-cube stuffing, apricots, wild rice, and toasted nuts. Add <salt> and more pepper to taste. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until bread cubes are evenly moist, 7 to 12 minutes.

Pour into a 3-quart casserole and cover tightly. Bake in 325F (or 350F, as above) until dressing is hot in the center, 30 or 40 minutes. Uncover the last 15 to 20 minutes for a crustier top. Sprinkle with parsley.

Makes about 10 cups, or 10 to 20 servings.