This is not your ordinary chicken casserole. Yes, it takes a bit longer than those made with your favorite “cream of” soup, but the results are well worth it. That being said, I don’t think I would make it on a week night unless I had leftover chicken and rice, because it does take a while. But, I am trying to get in the habit of cooking and shredding extra chicken, cooking extra rice, and other things for recipes later in the week. This lets you get dinner on the table in a timely manner while giving you higher quality more nutritious food. This casserole also freezes very well. In fact, this one was frozen. When I made one to take to a friend, I made two and put this one in the freezer. Just let it thaw completely before baking. And, it will take a little longer to cook because it is cold, but other than that, it will be the same.
This is a very slightly adapted recipe from the Picky Palate that I found on Pinterest. The side you see is collard greens sauteed in olive oil.
Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
yield: 8 servings
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded (Use the mixer method!)
2 cups cooked jasmine rice
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 1/4 tsps. kosher salt, divided
3/4 tsp. black pepper, divided
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
3 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute celery and carrots in olive oil until tender. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant (about 1 minute). Stir in chicken, both rices, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently until heated through.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Remove from heat and stir in flour and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Stir until smooth with no lumps. Gradually, stir in broth. Return to heat and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook until thickened (about 1 minute). Stir in 2 cups cheese, stirring until melted. Pour over the chicken and rice mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Pour into a 9″x13″ baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and cheese on top is melted.
Source: Slightly adapted from Picky Palate.
This recipe was shared on Foodie Friends Friday.