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Wild Rice, Dried Cherries, and Almond Stuffing Recipe

Course: Side Dish
Total Time: Under 2 Hours
Skill Level: Moderate
Cost: Moderate
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Wild Rice, Dried Cherries, and Almond Stuffing

Photo by: Joseph De Leo

The deep, earthy flavors of this stuffing work especially well with wild turkey. Wild rice is really a grass and not rice at all. Cooking times depend on the type of wild rice. The most expensive is hand-harvested from canoes, and takes the longest time to cook. Machine-harvested brands, often from California, cook more quickly.

Yield: About 10 cups

  • 1 cup (4 ounces) dried cherries
  • 2/3 cup tawny or ruby port
  • 2 cups (11 ounces) wild rice, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter plus 3 tablespoons more if making ahead
  • 3 medium celery ribs, finely chopped
  • ½ cup minced shallots
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped celery leaves
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup Homemade Turkey Stock 101 or canned reduced-sodium chicken broth, for reheating


In a small bowl, mix the dried cherries and port, and let stand while preparing the stuffing.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the wild rice and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the wild rice is tender and most of the grains have burst, 45 to 60 minutes. Drain well and rinse under cold running water. Place the rice in a large bowl.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the celery and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots and celery leaves, and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the cherries and their soaking liquid. Boil until the port has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir the mixture into the wild rice, with the almonds, sage, salt, and pepper. (The stuffing can be made up to 1 day ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated. To reheat the stuffing, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the stuffing and cook, stirring often, until warmed.)

Use to stuff the turkey or place the dressing in a buttered casserole, cover, and refrigerate. Drizzle with about ¼ cup stock before reheating in a preheated 350°F oven for about 20 minutes.


Make Ahead: The stuffing can be made up to 1 day ahead.

© 1998, 2007 Rick Rodgers

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on a 1 cup of stuffing per serving.

Nutritional information does not include Homemade Turkey Stock 101. For nutritional information on Homemade Turkey Stock 101, please follow the link above.

Nutritional information is based on 2 tablespoons of butter.

267kcal (13%)
52mg (5%)
1mg (2%)
29mcg RAE (1%)
6mg (2%)
192mg (8%)
2g (10%)
8g (13%)
1mg (8%)

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