Wild Rice, Fennel, and Sausage Stuffing

Wild Rice, Sausage and Fennel Stuffing

Altered from Bon Appétit, Nov 1995

3 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 cups wild rice (about 9 ounces), rinsed, drained

1 cup water

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed

2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

1/3 pound shiitakes, de-stemmed and cut into thirds or halves

3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional)

Combine broth, rice, 1 cup water and fennel seeds in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until rice is tender, stirring occasionally, about 55 minutes. Drain.

Sauté sausage in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to plate. Add chopped fennel bulbs, onions, and shiitakes to drippings in skillet. Sauté over medium-high heat until vegetables are golden, about 10 minutes. Add rice and sausage to skillet. Sauté until heated through, about 3 minutes. Stir in walnuts, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. If serving as side dish, rewarm covered in 350°F. oven for 20 minutes.) Transfer to bowl and serve. If using as stuffing, cool completely and fill bird.