I have to admit that my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is not the turkey, but the side dishes. Really, I am all about the potatoes and stuffing. My plate usually is piled high with these wonderfully gooey sides, and there is merely a morsel of the bird.
For this week’s meaty side dish, I made a stuffing. I wanted my stuffing to be hearty but not heavy. I tossed around the idea of using baguettes or cornbread, as the base of my stuffing; but, decided to go lighter, and used wild rice. Before making the stuffing, I simply cooked the rice with chicken stock to give it some added depth. The seasonings I used were Italian sausage, a little celery to add crunch, and some slivered almonds.
To give this side dish more of a festive look, I decided to bake the stuffing in individually cored out apples. I used honey crisp apples as their texture is a bit more firm, and would hold up better when baking. The stuffing is not only (lightly) flavored by the sweetness of the apple, but also the spices from the Italian sausage, and the earthy wild-rice.
I served this stuffing with pan-fried pork chops; but it would be outstanding with a roasted bird that is seasoned with a little citrus, rosemary, and salt.
Denise Woodward believes anything can be made at home as long as you have a little patience, and time. All of her recipes are made using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her recipes have been featured on Eat Boutique, the Mushroom Channel, Saveur.com, Foodies of the World, PBS and Fine Cooking.
Denise also creates the recipes on the popular food blog Chez Us. Saveur has featured Chez Us as one of 50 Food Blogs You Should Be Reading as well as one of the Sites They Love. Be sure to read more about what they are cooking up over at Chez Us.