November 2, 2010

Cheesy Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole

I made this for dinner last night & I wished I would have paid more attention to the instructions before I started.  Or if I would have read Melissa's Post, I probably would have saved it for Sunday dinner.  I didn't realize how much there was to this recipe.  I think I dirtied every dish/pan in my house, just kidding, but it really did dirty a lot of dishes.  Also, it was pretty time consuming for a weeknight meal.   You have to cook some chicken (45 minutes in the oven), make wild rice (mine took 50 minutes) and some regular rice, chop veggies and make a cream sauce.  Now, If you are fine doing all of that on a weeknight, then go ahead, but next time I make this, I will save it for a Sunday.  Overall, it tasted really good.  I did add some powdered cheese (from store bought mac & cheese) along with the regular cheese to give the cream sauce a little more flavor.  I served with a side of this yummy pumpkin cornbread.  I will definitely make this again.  

Cheesy Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole
adapted from: here

3 Tbl. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 stalks celery, finely diced
3 carrots, peeled & diced
2 Tbl. fresh minced garlic
2 c. shredded, cooked chicken
2 c. steamed white rice
2 c. prepared wild rice
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 c. chicken broth
3 1/2-4 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
4 Tbl. butter
1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat.  Saute onion, celery and carrots until softened, about 10 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook for one minute.  Stir in chicken, white rice, wild rice, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Reduce heat to low.  For cheese sauce: Melt butter in large saucepan and whisk in flour.  Slowly add chicken broth.  Season with salt and pepper.  Whisk until thick and stir in 2 cups of cheese until melted.  Pour cheese sauce into rice mixture and transfer to 9x13 dish.  Top with more cheese.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until hot and cheese is melted.  Serve hot.  Yield: 8-10 servings. 

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