Turkey & Wild Rice with Roasted Chestnuts


The best part of thanksgiving is, without question, the sales afterword. No, I’m not talking about electronic gizmos and other random junk. I’m talking about taking a stroll through the meat department at the supermarket. You can absolutely pick up ham or turkey for half the price they were a week prior to the holiday. Nothing makes me feel like I’m husbanding quite so well as getting a 50% discount on a hunk of meat. The biggest challenge with this is, of course, that the family has already been consuming leftover ham and turkey for the better part of a week and are not going to be well pleased when presented with MORE TURKEY.

The truth is, I don’t really care. Feeding the family on the cheap is an occupational necessity. I am not made of money, and if people would turn the lights off when leaving a room or just wear a sweater, I might just have more money to spend on tasty and exotic foods. As it is, the only reason we’re not eating beans and rice every night is a direct result of my economic vigilance at the grocery store. Which I’m not very good at, so it’s a pretty minor help, but I do try. Anyhow. Here is an interesting recipe I knocked up using bits of cooked turkey and fresh herbs I had left over in the fridge. You could also use the leftover second (half-priced) turkey you got from the store the week after Thanksgiving.

You’ll need:

1lb Fresh Chestnuts
1 1/2 C Wild Rice mix
2 14.5oz Cans Low-sodium Chicken broth
4Tbsp Fresh Rosemary
2 Tsp Fresh Thyme
2Tbsp Fresh Sage
1Tbsp Fresh Parsley
1-2Lb Cooked & shredded Turkey
1Pkg sliced mushrooms
Salt, pepper, garlic powder

Making it happen:

Cut an X in each fresh chestnut & roast in the oven at 425F for 30 min. Flip once at about 15 min. Let the chestnuts cool a bit and shell them. Slice them into chunks, discarding any moldy ones.

Heat up the turkey and sliced mushrooms just so the mushrooms start to cook and reduce in size.

Add rice, herbs, a bit of salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the Chicken Broth in a large pot. Heat to boiling and add the chestnuts, turkey, and mushrooms. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until all of the water has been absorbed – this takes anywhere between 45min and 1hr.

Serve alongside some sort of veggie, like asparagus, and some leftover cranberry relish.

Cranberry Relish

** This article will be published in the 11/16 Edition of the Seward Journal Newspaper **

As I write this, Thanksgiving is two weeks away.  I am, or was, super excited about having my family all in the same place for the festivities. After Tuesday, however, I think festivities is a rather generous expectation for the day. The best analogy I can come up for the proceedings is the past week on social media, specifically Facebook. If you think about it, Facebook is just a giant Thanksgiving dinner table. Think about it, all of your friends and family are going to be there along with at least a few people only one other person knows. Everyone is listening to all the conversations and, for better or worse, looking to jump in on one. Undoubtedly, someone will lead with a prayer meme before everybody goes around throwing up memes about what they’re thankful for. After that comes the food pictures and recipie discussions. Maybe you’ll get pleseant conversation about the kids, which leads to one person gushing about their job and everyone else complaning heartily about theirs. Eventually though, the politics memes start. It’s going to start subtly by someone tossing out a funny meme about the candidate they didn’t support, which they also imagine, incorrectly, everyone else will find funny too. Then there’s a response, and the whole dinner table starts to roll down hill until, eventually, at least two people are shouting and the rest of us are chasing the wine to the bottom of the bottle, and reaching for the liquor cabinet. At the end of it someone will throw their hands up and storm out, with the standard, ‘I’m taking a break from Facebook for a while’, and a few others will walk away from the proceedings and go back to posting about the Seahawks again.

This year, that’s where we’re at, pretty much all of us, I think. I’m super optimistic that after already reaching the point of angry red-faced shouting on Facebook, everyone knows to not bring up politics for even a second, it’s a slippery slope. In any case, if it does get there, because it will, I’ve got the perfect recipie that you can knock up by just throwing ingredients into a blender. 

What you need:

– 1 Navel orange (unpeeled)
– 1 bag of store-bought cranberries
– 1 Cup of white sugar


Put all of that into a blender, and it’ll be fine if your huffing and puffing and shouting or totally distracted and thinking about this argument or that. If you like, you can throw in a few tablespoons of Grand Marnier.