My immediately family is quite large. When we get together over the holidays, it’s like a yule tide flash mob has descended on Grandma’s house! Feeding this army can be a challenge, but we manage by dividing and conquering the holiday menu.
Grandma makes the turkey and dressing. My sister-in-law makes the desserts. My sister makes cheesy potatoes with help from my nieces. My brothers and I make assorted menu items to complete the smorgasbord. This year, I wanted to make a wild rice dish because my dad, who died in 1995, loved having wild rice at the holidays. Wild rice can take quite a while to cook, so it’s perfect for the slow cooker, which is great for transporting a hot dish on a road trip to Grandma’s.
I almost put bacon in this recipe, but because I was traveling with the dish I decided to go with Italian sausage instead. Bacon would have been great, but you wouldn’t want to put it in the dish until 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve. Otherwise it would lose it crunchiness. I’ve also tried versions of this recipe with vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, but I find in general that vegetable broth has such a subtle flavor that it doesn’t hold up against the earthiness of wild rice. So a chicken (or turkey) broth is a better option.
For me the star ingredients are the edamame (possibly my favorite vegetable – after potatoes, of course!) and the sun-dried tomatoes. Sun-dried tomatoes pack a lot of flavor and it adds a nice counter-punch to the wild rice. This recipe makes at least 16 servings (I was feeding an army, remember), so if you have a smaller group just halve the recipe for your brood.
In a medium skillet, brown the Italian sausage and break into chunks. Cook thoroughly and remove from heat.
In a 6-quart slow cooker, mix all the ingredients. Stir to incorporate, then cover and cook on high heat for about 1 hour. Stir again. Set heat to low and cook for another 3 hours, stirring occasionally.