September 23, 2008

Wild Rice, Apple, and Dried-Cranberry Stuffing


I think I've convinced even some hard-to-convince family that this is better than Stove Top. We have it at every Thanksgiving and at every Apple Weekend.

1 C wild rice
1 t salt
1/2 lb. crusty white bread, cut into 1/2-in. cubes; about 6 C
1/2 C unsalted butter, plus 2 T, melted
2 C diced onion
2 C diced celery
2 C diced apple
1/4 C finely-chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 t dried sage
1/2 t dried marjoram
1/4 t dried thyme
1/2 t black pepper
1 C dried cranberries
1 C chicken broth

Cook rice according to package directions. Spread out in a baking pan to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 350. Spread bread cubes in shallow baking pan and bake in upper third of oven until dry, about 20 minutes.

Melt 1/2 C butter in large nonstick skillet over moderate heat, then cook onion and celery, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add apple and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in herbs, pepper, and salt and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with rice, bread, and cranberries.

Increase oven temperature to 450 and grease a 13 x 9 casserole dish. Spread stuffing evenly in dish and drizzle with chicken broth and melted butter. Bake, covered tightly with foil, in upper third of oven until heated through, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake until top is browned, 10 to 15 minutes more.

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