Ok – so I served my casserole with roasted poussin. You too can serve this with poussin, quail, or you can stuff a cornish hen – you could also just serve it as is because it’s such a comforting dish.
The casserole dish I used, is a cast-iron enamel glazed Le Creuset. It’s safe to use on the stove top and the oven. If you don’t have something similar, you can easily get by with a deep oven safe sauté pan.
Kabocha Squash and Wild Rice – 4-6 servings
4 thick-cut slices bacon, sliced into lardons
2 cups diced Kabocha squash (aka kent/jak squash)
1/2 cup diced white onion
1/4 cup thinly sliced leek
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch of saffron threads
1 cup wild rice
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
6 curry leaves
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup roasted pine nuts, optional
1/4 cup chopped parsley, optional
Heat a casserole dish over high heat, add the lardons and saute until golden. Add diced squash, onion, leek, garlic and spices, and sauté until softened (6-8 minutes). Stir in rice, ginger and curry leaves, add stock to cover (add a little water if necessary), stir and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat, cover the casserole dish tightly with foil, then transfer it to the oven and bake until rice has absorbed liquid (16-18 minutes). Remove from the oven, and cover with a clean tea towel, then set aside to steam for 5 minutes.
You can garnish with pine nuts and parsley, and serve family style. If you decide to serve this along side a bird, I recommend simply dressing the bird with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Happy Cooking! Bon Apppetit!