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Chicken Wild Rice Casserole Recipe

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Chicken Wild Rice Casserole Recipe

There’s nothing quite like a warm, comforting casserole to bring family and friends together. Chicken Wild Rice Casserole is a hearty dish that combines tender chicken, nutty wild rice, and a medley of vegetables in a creamy, flavorful sauce. Perfect for a cozy dinner or a potluck, this dish is both satisfying and easy to make. Let’s dive into the steps to create this delightful casserole.

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What is Chicken Wild Rice Casserole?

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole is a classic American dish that combines cooked chicken and wild rice with a creamy sauce and vegetables, all baked together until bubbly and golden. It’s a great make-ahead meal that can be prepared in advance and baked when ready to serve.

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Key Ingredients

Chicken

  • Chicken Breasts or Thighs: Boneless, skinless, cooked, and cubed.
  • Chicken Broth: Adds depth to the sauce and cooks the rice.

Wild Rice

  • Wild Rice Blend: Nutty and chewy, providing a unique texture.

Vegetables

  • Onion: Finely chopped for flavor.
  • Carrots: Sliced for sweetness.
  • Celery: Adds a subtle crunch.
  • Mushrooms: Optional, for an earthy taste.
  • Peas: Frozen peas add a pop of color and sweetness.

Broth and Dairy

  • Chicken Broth: For cooking the rice and making the sauce.
  • Cream of Chicken Soup: For a creamy base.
  • Sour Cream: Adds richness.

Seasonings

  • Garlic: Minced for flavor.
  • Thyme: Fresh or dried.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste.
  • Parsley: Fresh for garnish.

Essential Kitchen Tools

  1. Large Pot: For cooking the wild rice.
  2. Skillet: For sautéing vegetables and chicken.
  3. Baking Dish: For assembling and baking the casserole.
  4. Knife and Cutting Board: For chopping vegetables and chicken.
  5. Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accuracy.
  6. Wooden Spoon: For stirring.

Step-by-Step Preparation

Preparing the Ingredients

  1. Cook the Chicken: Pre-cook 2 pounds of chicken breasts or thighs. Season with salt and pepper, then bake or sauté until fully cooked. Cube the cooked chicken and set aside.
  2. Chop the Vegetables: Finely chop 1 onion, slice 2 carrots, chop 2 stalks of celery, and slice 8 ounces of mushrooms (if using).

Cooking the Wild Rice

  1. Cook the Wild Rice: In a large pot, combine 1 cup of wild rice blend with 4 cups of chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid.

Preparing the Chicken and Vegetables

  1. Sauté the Vegetables: In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add 2 minced garlic cloves and cook for another minute.
  2. Combine with Chicken: Add the cubed chicken to the skillet with the vegetables and stir to combine.

Combining Ingredients and Baking

  1. Make the Sauce: In a large bowl, mix 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1 cup of sour cream, and 1 teaspoon of dried thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Combine Everything: Add the cooked wild rice and the chicken-vegetable mixture to the bowl with the sauce. Stir until everything is well combined.
  3. Transfer to Baking Dish: Pour the mixture into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread it out evenly.
  4. Bake: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Bake the casserole for 30-35 minutes, or until bubbly and golden on top.
  5. Garnish: Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.

Tips for Perfect Chicken Wild Rice Casserole

  • Pre-cook the Chicken: Ensures the chicken is fully cooked and tender.
  • Cook the Rice Properly: Wild rice should be tender but not mushy.
  • Season Well: Don’t be shy with the salt and pepper. Taste as you go.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this Chicken Wild Rice Casserole hot, straight from the oven. It pairs beautifully with a fresh green salad or steamed vegetables. A slice of crusty bread or dinner rolls on the side makes for a complete meal.

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Variations and Substitutions

  • Vegetarian: Substitute the chicken with tofu or extra vegetables and use vegetable broth.
  • Dairy-Free: Use coconut cream or a dairy-free cream of chicken soup alternative.
  • Gluten-Free: Ensure the cream of chicken soup is gluten-free or make a homemade version.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

  • Storage: Store leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating: Reheat individual portions in the microwave or reheat the whole casserole in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through.

Nutritional Information

Each serving (based on 8 servings) of Chicken Wild Rice Casserole has approximately:

  • Calories: 350
  • Protein: 22g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 28g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 3g

Conclusion

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole is a comforting, hearty dish that’s perfect for any occasion. It combines tender chicken, nutty wild rice, and a mix of vegetables in a creamy sauce. This casserole is easy to prepare, versatile, and sure to please everyone at the table. Enjoy this delicious recipe with your family and friends, and savor the comforting flavors.

FAQs

1. Can I use rotisserie chicken for this recipe? Yes, rotisserie chicken can be used as a convenient alternative. Just shred or cube it and add it to the recipe.

2. How can I make this casserole healthier? Use low-fat sour cream and cream of chicken soup, and add more vegetables like spinach or bell peppers.

3. Can I freeze Chicken Wild Rice Casserole? Yes, you can freeze it. Let the casserole cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

4. What can I use instead of cream of chicken soup? You can make a homemade version using chicken broth, milk, and flour, or use a dairy-free or gluten-free alternative if needed.

5. Is it possible to make this dish ahead of time? Absolutely. You can assemble the casserole a day in advance, cover, and refrigerate it. When ready to serve, bake it in the oven until heated through.

Source: carlsbadcravings.com

Yield: 8

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole Recipe

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole Recipe

There’s nothing quite like a warm, comforting casserole to bring family and friends together. Chicken Wild Rice Casserole is a hearty dish that combines tender chicken, nutty wild rice, and a medley of vegetables in a creamy, flavorful sauce. Perfect for a cozy dinner or a potluck, this dish is both satisfying and easy to make. Let's dive into the steps to create this delightful casserole.

Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • CHICKEN, RICE AND VEGGIES
  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice blend, COOKED according to package directions (measure uncooked)*
  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts or thighs, chopped into large bite size pieces
  • 1/4 tsp EACH salt, pepper, paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces baby Bella/cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • CREAM SAUCE
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon (granulated, base or crushed cubes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp EACH dried parsley, dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp EACH dried thyme, salt, pepper
  • 2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • PANKO TOPPING (OPTIONAL)
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

Oven: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Prep chicken: While the chopped chicken is still on the cutting board, pat dry with a paper towel. Toss with ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, ¼ teaspoon paprika. Set aside.

Cook chicken: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken in a single layer and sear for one minute without moving chicken, then continue to cook and stir chicken until opaque (it will not be cooked through). Transfer chicken to a large bowl using a slotted spoon.

Sauté vegetables and aromatics: Add a drizzle of oil to the drippings if they look dry (or butter for decadence). Add onions, carrots and celery and sauté until onions are tender. Add the garlic and sauté 30 seconds; transfer to the chicken bowl using a slotted spoon.

Caramelize mushrooms: Melt 2 tablespoons butter with a drizzle of olive oil over medium high heat in the leftover drippings. Add the mushrooms and give them a stir to evenly coat, then arrange in a single layer. Cook each side until deeply golden. Transfer to the chicken bowl using a slotted spoon.

Cream Sauce: Whisk the chicken broth and cornstarch together in a liquid measuring cup or bowl; set aside. To the now empty pot (don’t wipe out), melt 2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, while whisking, for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, then gradually whisk in chicken broth/cornstarch and milk, followed by Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, chicken bouillon and all spices/seasonings.

Bring sauce to a simmer, whisking often, until thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in 1 cup cheddar until melted followed by Parmesan cheese until melted.

Combine: Add the chicken/mushroom/veggies and COOKED wild rice blend to the sauce and stir until evenly combined. Taste and seasone with salt/pepper to taste. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish. Top with remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese.

Panko topping: Melt butter in olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add panko and stir to coat. Continue cooking until crumbs become golden brown. Evenly sprinkle over cheese.

Bake: Cover the casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.

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