Some folk claim that dressing is simply another name for stuffing – one that the Victorians came up with so they didn’t have to think about anything being stuffed into anything else – perhaps there was a bit too, too much swooning going on around the feast table.
Others maintain that dressing refers to any bit of starchy goodness served with a roast bird that is baked WITH but not IN, said bird.
Irregardless, it was Thanksgiving, and we were gonna have some sort of whatever you wanna call it, no matter how many other starchy things were to be on the table with it.
I had set myself a goal to make a feast as gluten-free as possible, so that our friend who can’t handle the stuff wasn’t left to picking around assorted side dishes for something good to go with teh bird. The salad, all the other veggies, and at least one of the desserts were all good to go; but I thought there should be something occupying the pride-of-place Rich’s “Heart Attack Potatoes” do each year – only this should be Kirsten-safe.
Then, kaBOOM! Rice stuffing! Or, OK, dressing, or, my great aunt Martha’s knickers, whatever you want to call it. A plan quickly came together:
Wild rice and Hot Water Corn Bread with goodies and stuff.
•12 oz rice/wild rice mixture
•3 cups good chicken stock
•1 tsp dried shallot
•1 tbsp butter
•1 tbsp olive oil
•16 oz sliced mushrooms
•1/2 cup chopped celery
•1 cup diced onion
•1/2 cup dried cherries
•2/3 cup chopped pecans
•Hot water corn bread, cooled & broken up
•Salt, pepper, seasonings of your choice
•1 cup chicken broth
First, let me note that I believed the hot water corn bread might be a bit TOO crumbly, so toasted it before adding to the rice mixture.
Big mistake. The resulting almost impermeable golden corn-like disks prompted Golnaz to offer, very nicely, that I shouldn’t worry, Persians historically have very strong teeth.
Better to just crumble the cooled cakes into the mixture at the end and skip the ‘crisping’.
Cook the rice in 3 cups of chicken stock with the dried shallots until done – or – pop it all in the rice cooker and wait for stuff to go *ding*, then set aside to cool.
Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large pan and add the ‘shrooms for about ten minutes, until the ‘shrooms are nicely browned and any additional liquid has cooked off.
Add the pecans, chopped onion, celery, and any seasonings you like, and cook until the onion is tender, sprinkling with a bit of brandy in, if you think of it.
Combine the sautéed veggies with the cooked rice in a large bowl and season with a bit of salt and pepper, if needed.
Stir in the dried cherries and crumbled corn bread and transfer to a 13 x 9 glass baking pan.
Drizzle the additional one cup of chicken broth over all, cover, and stash in the fridge over night.
Bring to room temperature, remove the cover, and pop into a 350º oven for one hour, or until the liquid is absorbed.
Stuffing, dressing, Aunt Martha’s whatever – it’s GOOD! Just, ermmm, not the almost impermeable golden corn-like disk part.