Put the dried apricots in a small bowl and pour the Triple Sec or Grand Marnier over them to cover. Let the apricots soak for about an hour and then drain off any excess liqueur (save the liqueur to deglaze a sauté or to add to a warm vinaigrette).
Meanwhile, put the wild rice in a medium saucepan and cover with water by about an inch. Bring the water to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and most of the grains have popped open, 40 to 60 minutes (be sure to taste for tenderness). Pour the rice into a colander or sieve to drain well.
Heat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 13x9-inch baking pan. In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, melt the 1/2 cup butter. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
With a rubber spatula, scrape the onion and celery into a large bowl. Stir in the orange zest to distribute evenly. Add the cooked wild rice, apricots, bread cubes, apple, sage, parsley, and pecans and stir to combine. Pour in the orange juice and broth, season with the salt and pepper, and stir to blend. The bread cubes should be evenly moistened— softened on the outside but still crunchy inside. Some of the broth may pool at the bottom of the bowl but will get absorbed as the dressing cooks.
Evenly distribute the dressing in the baking pan and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake until hot throughout, about 50 minutes, remove the foil and continue to bake until the dressing is slightly crusty on top, another 15 to 20 minutes.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on twelve servings, Calories
16, Fat Calories
140, Saturated Fat
5, Monounsaturated Fat
33, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Scott Phillips