Seasonal and traditional, celebrate the holidays with whole grain wild rice, rich sweetness of fennel and sustainable sausage. A blessing to your holiday bird or served as a main dish!
Combine chicken stock, rice, 1 cup water and fennel seeds in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until rice is tender, stirring occasionally, about 55 minutes. Check for doneness, as sometimes wild rice takes a bit longer to cook.
Saute sausage in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to paper towels and drain. Add chopped fennel bulbs and onions to drippings in skillet. Saute over medium-high heat until vegetables are golden, about 10 minutes. Add rice and sausage to skillet. Saute until heated through, about 3 minutes. Stir in walnuts, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. If serving as side dish, rewarm covered in 350°F. oven for 20 minutes. Transfer to bowl and serve. If using as stuffing, cool completely and fill bird (up to 12 pounds).