Wild Rice with Smoked Turkey, Lingonberries, Wild Onions and Fried Sage

A densely nutritious meal from the Boreal forest, true Northern wild rice is cooked in roasted fowl stock with fresh lingonberries, then tossed with torn pieces of pan-fried smoked turkey, wild onions, fresh sage and rosemary.  Drizzled with hot stock and pan drippings..

Wild Rice with Smoked Turkey, Lingonberries,Wild Onions and Fried Sage

1 wild rice (if the instructions on the package call for less than 1 hour of cooking, it probably isn’t true wild rice)
2-3/4 cups homemade fowl or vegetable stock, boiling
1/2 cup fresh lingonberries, stemmed, rinsed and picked over (substitute cranberries)
1 tablespoon rendered turkey or chicken fat
pinch of sea salt

1 smoked turkey leg, skinned, pulled and torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup wild onions (both green and white sections), trimmed and cut into to 1/8-inch thick slices
12 whole, fresh sage leaves, stemmed
1 heaping tablespoon fresh rosemary needles
2 tablespoons rendered turkey or chicken fat
freshly-cracked black pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon rendered turkey or chicken fat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.  Add wild rice and stir to coat.  Continue cooking and stirring for 5 minutes until each grain is coated and glossy.

Add 2-1/2 cups boiling stock and berries and stir to separate rice.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until just tender, about 1 hour.  Salt to taste.

Heat 1-1/2 tablespoons rendered turkey or chicken fat in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Add turkey and onions and quickly sear.  Add sage and rosemary and cook until herbs are crisp, about 2-3 minutes.

To serve, combine rice and turkey in warm soup bowls.  Stir the reserved stock and pan drippings together and drizzle over the top.  Season with freshly-cracked black pepper.

The species of wild rice most commonly harvested is the annual Zizania palustris.  Native Americans and non-Indians harvest wild rice by canoeing into a stand of plants, and bending the ripe grain heads with wooden sticks called knockers, so as to thresh the seeds into the canoe.

The size of the knockers, as well as other details, are prescribed in state and tribal law.  By Minnesota statute, knockers must be at most 1 inch in diameter, 30 inches long, and one pound in weight.  The plants are not beaten with the knockers but require only a gentle brushing to dislodge the mature grain.  The Ojibwa people call this plant manoomin meaning “good berry”.   Some seeds fall to the muddy bottom and germinate later in the year.

Several Native American cultures, such as the Ojibwa, consider wild rice to be a sacred component in their culture.  The rice is harvested with a canoe: one person vans (or “knocks”) rice into the canoe with two small poles (called “knockers” or “flails”) while the other paddles slowly or uses a push pole.  For these groups, this harvest is an important cultural (and often economic) event. –Wikipedia

9 thoughts on “Wild Rice with Smoked Turkey, Lingonberries, Wild Onions and Fried Sage

  1. This creation is right up my alley! Fresh lingonberry? Goodness, where did you find it? I buy Wilderness Family’s wild rice–love, love it.

    Thanks for the lovely photos and recipe, Ren.

  2. Delicious sounding Ren!
    Leesie if your buying from Wilderness Family located in Finland, MN. it definitely will be the real thing.
    I have a big supply of MN Wild Rice I purchased from my sister’s neighbor who rices every year and has it hand parched by Native Americans.
    Here’s a link to a post I did http://seedsofnutrition.com/?p=2775 prior to our trip north in 2009.
    Bought some Ligonberry Jam last Fall on our trip.

    1. Thanks, Pamela! Hint: if the package says that the rice cooks in anything under an hour, it probably isn’t real wild rice..

      Huckleberries work pretty well in place of lingonberries, by the way. They’re sweeter, so adjust with a little acid to suit.

      1. Hint on Wild Rice……. True Minnesota Wild Rice is a beautiful soft brownish / blackish color. I’ve cooked with it for years and grew up with it in N.E. MN. and always bought directly from the Ricer. The Paddy wild rice is black, tough and has to be cooked forever and never gets to the gorgeous fluff stage that true gets too.

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