Turkey & Wild Rice Stuffing

Turkey & Wild Rice Stuffing

You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to indulge in a delicious meal. The next time you find yourself craving a little piece of the holidays, look no further than lean turkey and savory wild rice stuffing to do the trick. 

2 cups of chicken stock 
1 cup of wild rice
4 tablespoons of butter (1 tablespoon for rice and 3 tablespoons for sauteing)
1 pound of sausage with the casing removed
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and small diced
1 large white onion, chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 pound of liver with blood vessels removed
3 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh thyme leaves (from about 5 or 6 large sprigs)
6 fresh sage leaves, minced
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh marjoram leaves (from about 5 or 6 large sprigs)
1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and pepper
3 beaten eggs

Turkey and rub:
1/4 cup of olive oil
5 or 6 large sprigs fresh marjoram, leaves stripped from the stems
1 tablespoon of anise seed
6 to 8 sprigs fresh parsley leaves cut off (and stems reserved for the gravy – below)
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1 (12 to 15-pound) turkey, breast and legs cut away from bones and tendons removed and soaked in cold water with kosher salt (buy the turkey breast and legs pre-boned or ask your butcher to do it)

Ale reduction gravy:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, lightly crushed with the side of a knife blade, then minced
1 shallot, minced
3 or 4 sage leaves, minced
1 bay leaf
2 (12-ounce) bottles ale (Samuel Adams Boston Lager or similar)
1 pint of chicken stock (or turkey stock you have made)
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick or 8 tablespoons)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Special equipment: Kitchen twine

To prepare the stuffing:
In a medium saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add in the wild rice and a tablespoon butter (reserving the rest of the butter), cover, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer undisturbed for 50 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes before removing lid. Stir and allow to cool to room temperature.

Once rice is cooking, melt another tablespoon of butter over a medium heat (reserving the rest of the butter) in a large skillet and cook the sausage until browned. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage to a bowl. Pour most of the sausage fat from the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon of fat. Add the apples and saute until tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove them to the bowl with sausage. Add oil to the same pan if the pan is too dry and cook onion until it becomes ranslucent. Cook the liver until cooked through and remove to a carving board to cool to room temperature. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the pan and saute the celery, thyme, sage, marjoram, and parsley over medium heat until tender. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Cut liver into 1/4-inch cubes. Combine it with the wild rice, sausage, apples, and sauteed herbs. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Set aside briefly.

To prepare the turkey:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Make paste to rub on the turkey by adding 1 at a time through the feed opening of a running blender: oil, marjoram, anise seeds, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Fill turkey breast and thighs with rice stuffing and secure with kitchen twine. Rub paste liberally on turkey and roast, basting with the pan juice every 30 minutes or so, until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. This will take about 20 minutes per pound. Remove from oven and let rest. Pour pan juices into a glass container so you can see the fat layer and pour off or spoon off most of the fat. Add remaining pan juices to the gravy.

For the ale reduction gravy:

Using a deep saucepan, heat olive oil over a medium-high heat until it shimmers. Saute the garlic, shallots, sage, and bay leaf until the shallots turn translucent. Deglaze pan with ale and allow most of the ale to evaporate. Gradually add stock and bring to a gentle boil. Combine butter and flour (to look like coarse cornmeal). Then gradually whisk the mixture into the stock. Reduce heat and allow flour to “cook out” and allow gravy to thicken. Whisk in the juices from the turkey pan and cook for a few more minutes. Remove bay leaf and strain gravy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve sliced turkey and stuffing with gravy.


  1. yusef sangriam

    this looks good!

  2. jen hensen

    Looks like a mix of gravy n turkey

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