This recipe makes a great side dish to serve during the holidays or any time of year really. I got the original recipe from Rosemary, one of the nurses at my office who’s retired now. I’ve changed it up just a smidge to make it more appealing to my family, but the basic recipe is the same. If you want to serve it during other times of the year, you can omit the cranberries and still have a great side dish to go with a roast or some chicken. If you ask me, though, I think this dish is really perfect for Thanksgiving and is wonderful on a plate next to some turkey smothered with gravy and a pile of green beans. Yum! I can’t wait to serve this at our Thanksgiving dinner this year!
HOLIDAY SAUSAGE AND WILD RICE
1 cup brown rice (2 cups when cooked)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. salt
2 boxes (4.3 oz. each) long grain and wild rice blend (like Rice-a-Roni)
½ cup pine nuts (can substitute slivered almonds)
¼ cup butter or margarine
1 small onion, diced
8 ozs. sliced mushrooms
1 bag (9.6 ozs.) turkey sausage crumbles (can use pork sausage)
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup frozen peas
chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
Cook brown rice in rice cooker or stove top. To the cooking water, add the bay leaf, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt.
In another pot, prepare wild rice blend according to package directions.
Place pine nuts on a baking sheet and roast in a 375ºF oven, stirring occasionally, for about 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Melt butter or margarine in a large stock pot.
Sauté onions and mushrooms in melted butter until onions become translucent.
Add sausage crumbles to pot and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Stir in cooked brown rice, cooked wild rice, toasted pine nuts, dried cranberries, and frozen peas.
Continue cooking until peas are heated through.
Transfer to a casserole dish.
Serve warm garnished with chopped parsley, if desired.
I was watching Trisha Yearwood’s show on the Food Network. She made a chicken and rice casserole that looked really good so I thought I would give it a try. It was truly yummy! The family liked it a lot. I’ve made it a couple of times since then, but of course, with some minor changes to the original recipe. I added a little more parsley for one thing. I also don’t bother chopping the slivered almonds. The biggest change I made, though, was to add a topping. My kids wanted the dish to have a crunchy topping. What is it with kids and crunchy toppings? So I made a mixture of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese, sprinkled it over the top, and voila!
CHICKEN AND WILD RICE CASSEROLE
2 (6-oz.) boxes Uncle Ben’s long-grain and wild rice mix
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing dish