Wild Rice Casserole with Sausage and Pecans

One of my favorite go-to meals. For those days when you haven’t really made any real plans for dinner. I always try to keep sage pork sausage in the freezer. It is quick to put together and cooks for the most part, in the oven. Serve with a side salad and bread and you have dinner. Try not to skip the pecans they make the dish.
Wild Rice Casserole with Sausage and Pecans
* 1/2 cup chopped pecans
* 1 (1-lb.) package sage ground pork sausage
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 1 cup chopped celery
* 2 (6-oz.) packages long-grain and wild rice mix (I use Uncle Ben’s brand)
* 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 tsp. dried rubbed sage
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1. Heat 1/2 cup chopped pecans in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, 5 minutes or until toasted. Remove toasted pecans from skillet.
2. Brown sausage in same skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 10 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Remove sausage from skillet using a slotted spoon; reserve drippings in skillet.
3. Melt butter in hot drippings over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and sauté 10 to 15 minutes or until celery is tender.
4. Remove 1 seasoning packet from rice mixes; reserve for another use. Combine sausage, vegetable mixture, remaining seasoning packet, rice, and next 3 ingredients in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Stir in chicken broth until well blended.
5. Bake, covered, at 325° for 1 hour or until liquid is almost absorbed. Let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top.