Behold, the perfect holiday side dish: one that allows you to be outside, alongside the grill, while your family members, a few random people that were somehow invited, and that one weird uncle hang out inside, making small talk and getting real heated over the current political climate. Sure, this recipe mostly involves a whole lot of waiting, but you can definitely “supervise” while it cooks. So, grab a beer, put on your favourite album, and enjoy.
Tis the season, after all.
SERVES 6-8 AS A SIDE
- 1 leek
- ½ medium white onion
- 3 stalks of celery
- 3 shiitake mushrooms
- 2 cremini mushrooms
- 2 white mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
- 1 clove of garlic
- 4 rashers of bacon
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1 ½ cup wild rice blend
- 2 ¾ cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- Salt and pepper, to taste
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: cast iron or other grill-safe Dutch oven
STEP 1: Assemble your ingredients. Oh, this is gonna be good.
STEP 2: Place the Dutch oven on the grill over medium heat; let it heat up while you prepare your ingredients!
STEP 3: Slice the leek in half lengthwise and rinse well; discard the dark green bit and chop the light green and white parts. Next, dice the onion and celery, and place all three in a bowl.
STEP 4: Roughly chop the mushrooms and sage and place them in another bowl. Smash and mince the garlic and add it to the mushroomy goodness.
STEP 5: Since you’re in a chopping mood and whatnot, why don’t you chop your parsley? You’re not using it until the end, so once you’re done chopping it, put it in an itty-bitty bowl and set aside.
STEP 6: Chop your bacon, put it in a bowl, and then get your other ingredients ready: measure out your rice, broth, cranberries, and almonds.
STEP 7: Now for the good stuff! Transfer the bacon to the heated Dutch oven and cook until crispy! Give it a stir every now and then so it cooks evenly.
STEP 8: Discard all but about a tablespoon of the bacon fat, and then add the onion, leek, and celery to the pot. Cook for about 10-12 minutes, uncovered (but with the barbecue lid down).
STEP 9: Add the mushrooms, sage, and garlic, and cook for another 10 minutes (again, uncovered but barbecue lid down).
STEP 10: Stir in the cranberries, rice, and broth. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and close the barbecue; cook for 5-7 minutes, and then turn the heat down to low-medium and continue to cook for 45 minutes.
STEP 11: Once the liquid is all absorbed (continue cooking for a few more minutes if needed), stir in the almonds and parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
STEP 12: Serve warm, right out of the Dutch oven! But use oven mitts or a towel, you know, because it’s hot.