Wild Rice Butternut Squash Stuffing

Wild Rice is delicious, and most of it grows in California near Sacramento. It’s nutty and earthy, irresistibly chewy-tender, and we can’t get enough of it. The savory taste is smokey and unlike what you imagine for something called rice!

Active Work Time: 45 minutes

Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Josiah Citrin is a culinary expert and veteran of Los Angeles’s gourmet dining scene, with more than 25 years of experience. He's a two-star Michelin chef and owner of Santa Monica California’s highly-acclaimed MélisseCharcoal Venice, and Dave’s Doghouse in the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles, the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Scottsdale, Arizona. His culinary philosophy, “In Pursuit of Excellence” sets the standard for all of his concepts, whether fine-dining or casual. We love to share this dish with you!


1 cup wild rice

3 slices smoked bacon

1/2 cup diced onion

2 bay leaves

3 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup finely diced carrots

1/4 cup finely diced celery


Freshly ground white pepper

1 butternut squash (or acorn squash) 

Black pepper

Some add 1/2 pound fresh chicken livers, we prefer without!

1 tablespoon butter, plus more for greasing

3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

2 tablespoons finely diced shallots

2 tablespoons cognac (optional)

* Place rice in medium-size pot and cover with cold water. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and cook 1 minute. Drain and set aside.

* Cook bacon in pot over medium heat until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add onion, cover and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat with bacon fat. Add bay leaves and broth. Bring to boil over medium heat, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

* Add carrots, cover and simmer 20 minutes. At this point, rice should be almost al dente. Add celery and cook 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Rice is done when it starts to expand and has very little crunch left. Remove bacon and bay leaves immediately. Lay rice out on baking sheet and let cool.

* Cut squash in half and remove strings and seeds. Season with salt and black pepper. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake until squash is soft but not mushy, 45 minutes. When squash is cool enough to handle, peel skin and cut squash into 1-inch squares. Set aside.

* Season chicken livers with salt and black pepper. Heat medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and quickly saute chicken livers until lightly browned and no longer pink, 30 seconds each side. Remove and let cool. Puree in food processor and pass through fine sieve into mixing bowl.

* Mix rice into pureed chicken livers. Add squash, parsley, shallots and cognac. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. (or keep it simple like we do and skip half of these)

8 servings. Each serving: 182 calories; 455 mg sodium; 100 mg cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 24 grams carbohydrates; 10 grams protein; 1.20 grams fiber.


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