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Wild rice stuffing

Time 2 hours
Yields Serves 4 to 6
Wild rice stuffing
1

Rinse 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.

2

In 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.

3

Place 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.

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.

If it’s entertaining, Jessica Gelt has likely covered it. Since joining the Los Angeles Times in 2003, she has written about television, music, movies, books, art, fashion, food, cocktails and more. She once played bass in a band with an inexplicably large following in Spain, and still gets stopped by fans (OK, maybe a fan) on the streets of Barcelona. She loves dive bars and very dry martinis with olives, though never simultaneously.
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