January 24, 2013

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

The husband stayed home from work today and is upstairs entertaining the kids, so I've finally carved out some time to get onto my blog and update some recipes we've tried recently. I have several to post, so I think I'll start with the most recent one first and work my way backwards.

Unfortunately, this is the only one I forgot to take a pic of this time. I will say that it really didn't *look* like much once plated, but man-o-man, was it fantastic to eat. I'm not sure why either...it tasted similar to other casseroles we've had, but for some reason, this one was extra yummy. The boy had thirds!!! Thirds!!! The husband had some of the leftovers for breakfast this morning. Actually, he had some for lunch, too. It made a ton, and I don't think we have any leftover anymore after breakfast and lunches today.

At any rate, I pretty much followed the original recipe, with the exception of the rice used. I didn't use white rice at all. I did a combo of black rice, brown rice, and a Trader Joe's wild rice pilaf blend. Yum. Yum. Yum. I served our casserole with a side salad and we all ooh'ed and ahhh'ed over our dinners.

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
From: Picky Palate website via Pinterest

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 stalks celery, finely diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 Tablespoons fresh minced garlic
2 Cups shredded, cooked chicken breast (I cubed our chicken)
2 Cups steamed white rice
16 oz prepared wild rice (I used a black, brown, brown-pilaf combo)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Cheese Sauce

4 Tablespoons butter
1/4 Cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 Cups chicken broth
2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
Top with 1 1/2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil into a medium dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery and carrots until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in chicken, both rices, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Reduce heat to low.

2. To prepare cheese sauce melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper then slowly pour in chicken broth whisking continuously. Whisk until thick and nearly boiling then stir in cheese until melted. Pour cheese sauce into rice mixture then transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with additional cheddar cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted through. Serve.

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