Thanksgiving treat: wild rice stuffing and cranberry relish

Take a break from the usual Thanksgiving bread stuffing and cranberry sauce with this savoury wild rice stuffing and cranberry relish.

Thanksgiving treat: wild rice stuffing and cranberry relish

Wild rice and pecan stuffing

This stuffing gets delicious crunch from pecans and the old stir-fry favourite, water chestnuts. Use it to stuff chicken or Cornish hens, or serve it on the side.

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 1 hour

Serves 6

  • 10 ml (2 tsp) vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 200 g (1 c) wild rice
  • 250 ml (1 c) chicken broth
  • 500 ml (2 c) water
  • 3 g (3/4 tsp) salt
  • 2 g (1/2 tsp) crumbled dried rosemary
  • 2 g (1/2 tsp) freshly ground black pepper
  • 130 g (1 c) canned sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 75 g (1/3 c) chopped pecans
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. In a Dutch oven or flame-proof casserole, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft, about five minutes.
  3. Add the carrot and celery and sauté until the carrot is crisp-tender, about four minutes.
  4. Stir in the rice, broth, water, salt, rosemary and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover, transfer to the oven and bake until the rice is tender, about 50 minutes.
  5. Stir in the water chestnuts and pecans before serving.

Personalize it!

Instead of dried rosemary, use two grams (1/2 teaspoon) poultry seasoning, or try a mix of dried thyme, sage and marjoram.

Cranberry relish

Cranberries are sometimes flavoured with orange juice, as in this relish, but the real surprise here is using whole oranges for serving. The oranges are cut in half with a zigzag edge and the pulp is removed to make decorative bowls. Filled with the crimson relish, the orange bowls make an impressive presentation.

Preparation time 15 minutes

Cooking time 10 minutes 

Serves 6

  • 3 oranges
  • 100 g (1/2 c) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 125 ml (1/2 c) fresh orange juice
  • 50 ml (1/4 c) water
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 ml (1/4 tsp) ground ginger
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • 500 ml (2 c) fresh cranberries
  1. Cut the oranges in half, making a zigzag edge. Remove the pulp. Cover and store the orange shells in the refrigerator (will keep for one day).
  2. In a medium pot, stir together the brown sugar, orange juice, water, crystallized ginger, ground ginger and cloves. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, about two minutes. Lower the heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, for three minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the cranberries. Return to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium-high and cook until the skins pop, stirring occasionally, two to three minutes.
  4. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Store in the refrigerator (will keep for one week).
  5. To serve, spoon into the orange shells.

One more notch!

Flavour up the relish by adding one can (225 grams/eight ounces) crushed pineapple, drained, and seven millilitres (1 1/2 teaspoon) vanilla extract along with the cranberries.

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