1 pound Dean’s sausage, hot or mild
1 1/2 cup wild rice blend (should make 4 cups cooked rice. May be prepared ahead of time) 2 1⁄2 cups chicken broth
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts (can substitute pecans or toasted slivered
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh minced) 1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 3-quart casserole.

Prepare the rice according to package directions using rice, broth and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Remove from the heat and allow to sit, covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. (At this point, you may cool and then cover and refrigerate the rice for up to 2 days.)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the sausage until evenly brown, crumbling the meat as it cooks. Remove to a mixing bowl.
In the same skillet over medium heat, add the butter and cook the onion and celery until the vegetables are beginning to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic for the last 30-60 seconds, stirring until you can smell it but it is not brown.

To the sausage, add the onion mixture, cooked rice, parsley, egg, water chestnuts or nuts, Parmesan, thyme, salt and pepper.
Mix until combined and then turn into the prepared baking dish.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until hot throughout. Garnish with additional parsley, if desired.



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