The Daley Question

Wild rice stuffing recipes have year-round appeal

Reader in search of Thanksgiving dishes

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Wild rice

Wild rice (Michael Robinson Chavez / McClatchy-Tribune / February 8, 2012)

Q: I have lost my copy of a Thanksgiving issue. 1990-1991? It was a Thanksgiving menu. It was recommended as different from the traditional turkey dinner. The stuffing had nuts and dried fruit. The sweet potatoes had slices of cheddar cheese and the cranberry sauce had onions, etc.! I think it was the center section of the issue that week. I' m sure everyone would enjoy seeing and trying these recipes again. Would appreciate your help.

—Betty Thomas Stork, Crystal Lake

A: Sorry, I had no luck finding these recipes in the Tribune archives. Maybe readers have a copy of these recipes they can share?

In the meantime, I focused on the idea of a non-traditional stuffing because I think it's a dish you can serve all year and not just with turkey. Pair one of the wild rice stuffings below with chicken, duck, quail or, maybe, even a crown pork roast or a whole fish. You could even make and bake the stuffing in a casserole dish, or hollowed-out bell peppers or zucchini. You may end up with leftovers, yes, because the scale of the recipes are designed to fit with turkey but what's wrong with that?

The first recipe comes from the time period you specified. It is a 1990 recipe for a wild rice, cranberry and pecan dressing adapted from "The Turkey Cookbook" by Rick Rodgers.

A few years later, in 1995, the Tribune ran a story by Nancy Ross Ryan featuring a wild rice stuffing recipe from Chef Susan Goss, then of Chicago's Zinfandel restaurant. Unlike Rodgers, Goss used dried fruit in her recipe.

I have not made either recipe but I like the sound of them. I hope you do, too. Both recipes call for toasted nuts. Here's how from Ryan's story: To toast nuts, place them in a single layer on a baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool.

Wild rice, cranberry and pecan dressing

Prep: 20 minutes. Cook: 75 to 85 minutes. Makes: About 8 cups

This recipe ran in the Chicago Tribune in 1990. It was adapted from "The Turkey Cookbook" by Rick Rodgers.

1 cup each: sugar; water

1 package (12 ounces) fresh cranberries

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 large celery ribs, finely chopped

2 cups wild rice, well rinsed

5 cups homemade turkey stock or 5 cups canned chicken broth

1 teaspoon each: salt, dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon each: freshly ground pepper, savory

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted

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