Aromatic sage, sweet dried apricots, creamy almonds and chewy wild rice (or long grain brown rice) make this stuffing a well-loved addition to your celebration.
The evening before, cover both the wild rice (or long grain brown rice) and the almonds in separate bowls with a generous covering of water. Let them soak overnight.
If you have giblets (turkey innards and neck), you can put them to simmer with a pinch of salt and a quart of water to make a broth to cook the rice in (optional but tasty step). Simmer for several hours the evening before or the morning of.
To cook the rice, drain the water and put in a medium sized pot with 3 cups of giblet broth or water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, stir, and then let it cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes. If you do not soak the wild rice or long grain brown rice, it will take about 50 minutes to cook. If you use water, it is easier to cook the wild rice pasta style, simmering with extra water until al dante and then drain the excess water.
While the rice is cooking, chop the onion and celery, drain the almonds and roughly chop. Cut the apricots in quarters with scissors. Chop fresh sage or stir in dried sage. Add salt and pepper.
When the rice is cool enough to handle, add it to the rest of the stuffing ingredients. Mix well - this is easiest with your hands.
Stuff the turkey. I put in a handful or two, and then make a fist to pack it in tight. When the turkey is full, pull together the skin on both sides of the opening and use an embroidery needle and string to sew the skin together, enough to hold the stuffing in. If you don't have an embroidery needle, bring the skin together and tie together the legs overtop.
If you are not stuffing a turkey or other poultry, pour melted butter or schmaltz (chicken fat) over the stuffing, stir, and put in a casserole dish. Cover and bake until all the ingredients are soft, about an hour.
Enjoy the stuffing with your loved ones!