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Chicken Stuffing with Rice, Pancetta and Pecans


  • 1.4 litres/2½ pints chicken stock

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 sprig thyme

  • 115g/4oz wild rice

  • 115g/4oz easy-cook long-grain rice

  • 55g/2oz unsalted butter

  • 225g/8oz pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, roughly chopped

  • 2 onions, finely chopped

  • 3 sticks celery, finely chopped

  • ½ savoy cabbage, chopped

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped marjoram

  • 1 X 85g/3oz packet sage and onion stuffing, made according to packet instructions

  • 115g/4oz pecans, chopped

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 eggs, beaten


  • 1.

    Bring 850ml/1½ pints of the stock, the bay leaf and thyme to the boil.

  • 2.

    Fold in the wild rice, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Add the long-grain rice and cook for a further 12 minutes.

  • 3.

    Drain and transfer the rice to a large bowl, discarding the bay leaf and thyme.

  • 4.

    Melt the butter in a large pan, add the pancetta, onion, and celery, and cook over a medium heat for eight minutes until the onions have softened but not browned.

  • 5.

    Add the cabbage and marjoram and cook for five minutes, stirring regularly.

  • 6.

    Add this mixture to the rice, along with the sage and onion stuffing, pecans, salt, and plenty of ground black pepper. Finally fold in the beaten eggs.

  • 7.

    Beat well with a wooden spoon to combine all the ingredients.

  • 8.

    Butter a large baking dish, fold the remaining chicken stock into the stuffing and place in the baking dish.

  • 9.

    Cover with buttered foil and bake in a hot oven at 200C/400F/Gas 6 for 30 minutes. Use as a stuffing for turkey.

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