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Add wild rice, chicken broth, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt to a 1-1/2 - 2 quart saucepan then bring to a boil. Place a lid on top then turn heat down to low and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until rice is al dente. Let pan sit off the heat with the lid on for 5 minutes then remove bay leaf, fluff rice with a fork, and set aside.
Meanwhile, brown bacon in a large, 12" skillet over medium heat then transfer to a bowl, reserving bacon fat in skillet. Turn heat up to medium-high then melt butter in skillet and add shallots, mushrooms, and celery. Once mushrooms have released their liquid and begin to brown, add dried thyme then season with salt and pepper. Saute until mushrooms are golden brown and vegetables are tender, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and fresh sage then saute until garlic is very fragrant and golden brown, 1-2 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat then add cooked wild rice, cooked bacon, chopped almonds, dried cranberries, and parmesan cheese to skillet then stir well to combine. Add a splash of chicken broth if you need to loosen the stuffing up a bit. Taste then add salt and pepper if necessary, and then serve.