We had thanksgiving dinner yesterday with friends, and among them were people with gluten, egg, and nut allergies. But Thanksgiving dinner just isn’t complete without stuffing, so we came up with this alternative. Rice, like bread, soaks up meat juices and flavors nicely. I was very happy with the way this turned out—it could be a festive side-dish even alongside traditional stuffing.
Thanksgiving Fried Rice
A gluten-and-egg-free stuffing or side-dish
(Notes: These are approximate measurements, but precision really doesn’t matter with this recipe. Please be sure to check the list of ingredients on both the bouillon and the sausages to make sure they are safe for whatever allergies your guests have.)
- 2 rice cooker cups (320cc) rice, cooked according to package directions (I used Thai jasmine rice, which was a blend of red and white. Very fragrant! Brown rice would work great too.)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 8 breakfast sausage links, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 ½ large onions, chopped (red and/or white; I used both)
- ½ cup celery, chopped
- 8 mushrooms, chopped (I used some white mushrooms and some shiitake, because that’s what I had)
- 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon (I used “Better than Bouillon”)
- ½ cup dried apple, chopped
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs: I used a mix of rosemary, sage, and thyme, since that was what was accessible in my partially-snow-covered garden.
- Salt and pepper to taste (the amount will depend on how salty your chicken bouillon is)
- (Other possibilities that I thought about but didn’t include: chopped pecans or walnuts if there are no nut allergies, tiny cubes of pan-fried squash, tiny cubes of pan-fried tofu, a splash of rum or brandy or apple juice instead of some of the orange juice, fresh apple, other dried fruit)
Melt half of the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Brown the sausages. Remove to a bowl.
Melt the remaining butter in the frying pan, then add the onions, celery, and mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and stir-fry for several minutes until they are soft. Add the chicken bouillon, apples, cranberries, and orange juice, and continue to stir-fry until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Clear a space in the center of the pan; add the pumpkin seeds and allow them to brown slightly. Add the sausage back into the pan, then the herbs. Stir to blend, then add the rice. Stir-fry to mix and allow the rice to crisp somewhat, 2-3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with the rest of Thanksgiving dinner, or on its own. It’s delicious with cranberry sauce and gravy.
You can probably stuff this in a turkey or chicken… but I really don’t know, since we don’t stuff our turkeys. Let me know in the comments if you try it.