For one of my favorite holidays, we hosted a little family get together at our house this year, and we made all of our traditional favorites – Slow roasted turkey breast with gravy (I tried a new recipe from America’s Test Kitchen this year for the main course, which I would highly recommend. The breast is my favorite part of the turkey, and this is a way to make sure it stays moist and flavorful), cauliflower and cheese, green beans with mushroom sauce, marshmallow sweet potatoes, wild rice and goat cheese stuffing with chorizo, and of course, pumpkin pie! I started making this stuffing for Thanksgiving a few years ago when we celebrated the holiday in Palm Springs and I was looking for a Southwest twist on the traditional recipe. It has since become a favorite that I make every year. The original recipe came from the Food Network, and I follow it fairly closely. I make it a pinch healthier by omitting the butter and using low sodium free-range chicken broth. I use real chorizo since it only requires a little bit, and it is a holiday after all :).
Wild Rice and Goat Cheese Stuffing with Chorizo
1 1/2 cups wild rice
5 cups water
Salt to taste
1/2 cup finely ground chorizo
1 finely diced large onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 finely chopped carrots
3 finely chopped celery stalks
3/4 pound cubed stale hearty white bread
6 ounces goat cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups low sodium free-range chicken stock
Boil the rice, water, and a little salt to taste in a medium saucepan until the grains open and the rice is tender. Drain. (This can be done a day ahead if you desire.) Cook the chorizo in a large saucepan over medium heat. Pour the chorizo over a bowl lined with a paper towel to drain the excess fat. In the same pan, add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery and cook until the onion is tender but not browned. Add the rice, chorizo, bread, cheese, parsley, thyme, and stock and combine it all together. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking dish and bake at 350, uncovered, until golden brown on top, about 25 to 30 minutes.