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Wild Rice and Apple Casserole or Stuffing

Serves 4 to 6

This is an easy and delicious recipe for wild rice. Serve as a side dish casserole or use it as a stuffing for poultry or pork, increasing the recipe as needed for a large bird. See a stuffed pork example in the similar and related recipes links. This makes a loose rice in which the grains stay separated. If using for stuffing, you can add one egg if you prefer a more cohesive dish.

Ingredients

Cook the rice with the bay leaf in the amount of lightly salted water as specified on the package until just tender and all the liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the celery and onions; sauté until softened. Add the sage, apples, juniper berries, rice, salt and pepper. Toss well to combine. Add the port wine and increase heat to high. Sauté until liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Taste for seasoning.

If baking as a casserole, preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly butter or spray an 8x8-inch or similar baking dish. Place the rice mixture in dish and cover with foil. Bake until hot, about 30 minutes. Alternately, place the rice mixture in meat or poultry, placing any extra into a small baking dish. Roast or bake according to meat recipe instructions, making certain the rice reaches the required internal temperature of the meat.

Notes: I use long cooking wild rice that takes about 45 minutes to cook. However, this recipe can be made with a quick wild rice. Check the box for specific cooking times. Unlike regular rice, wild rice, which is a grass, does not always absorb all of the water. If that happens, drain the rice in a strainer.