Wild Rice Dressing with Roasted Chestnuts and Cranberries
12 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup)
Photo: Jonny Valiant; Styling: Deborah Williams
2 cups uncooked wild rice
2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 cups whole roasted bottled chestnuts
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups halved lengthwise and thinly sliced carrot
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine rice, broth, 2 cups water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. (Do not drain.) Place rice in a large bowl; cover.
Arrange chestnuts on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Cool slightly; cut chestnuts into quarters.
Place cranberries in a small bowl; cover with hot water. Let stand 20 minutes or until soft. Drain and add to rice.
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add carrot, onion, and celery; cook 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in herbs; remove from heat. Add to rice mixture. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, chestnuts, and pepper.
Spoon rice mixture into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
I've made this recipe a handful of times and it never disappoints. It's simple, relatively easy and really flavorful. I've made it once with chestnuts (that were expensive and hard to find!) and actually like it better without them. Don't skip the fresh herbs -- they make the dish!
I was really disappointed in this. For a relatively lot of money and work, it came out totally bland, in my opinion. I followed the recipe exactly, except that it took much longer to make the wild rice tender than is written. I brought it to a work Thanksgiving potluck and by the end of the lunch, most of this dressing was still in the bowl. Not a big hit for me or any of my colleagues either.
I made a recipe for 3 for two of us and definitely could have made a recipe for 2 - it made enough for 4+ as a side. If I were to make a recipe for two I would increase the amount of veggies, cranberries and chestnuts. No where near enough liquid for the rice to cook until done. All in all the dish lacks flavor. I didn't buy fresh sage so used a small amount of dried but I don't think fresh would have made much difference. There a lot of steps and its somewhat time consuming.
I made this using chestnuts the first time and decided to substitute pecans the second because 1) My family didn't really like the chestnuts and 2) they are expensive and difficult to find. The family prefers the pecans and they pair nicely with the cranberries. That said, this dish is beautiful on your holiday table. It makes a ton so I made with the holiday leftovers I made Creamy Wild-Rice Soup with Smoked Turkey, . I just put the whole leftover dressing in the soup. I will definitely be making this a third time.
I thought this was very good but not sure it's worth the expense to include the chestnuts. I might substitute some other kind of nuts next time. I personally don't care for sage so may skip that next time too. It also takes longer than 40 minutes to cook wild rice and more than 4 cups liquid for two cups rice. I added 1 1/4 cups more water and cooked at least 50 minutes. Overall though this is a nice flavorful, colorful wild rice dish that can easily be made ahead of time.
Excellent! No substitutions are necessary! It's also great that you can make ahead of time and reheat b4 serving. The chesnuts really add to the recipe ... it's really worth the extra cost. You can find them at Whole Foods and Fresh Market. This is one of new favorites. Thanks for the recipe!!