Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole Recipe
Chicken and wild rice casserole is a hearty, comforting dish that’s perfect for family dinners, potlucks, or any occasion when you’re craving a satisfying meal. This recipe combines tender chicken, earthy wild rice, and a creamy sauce to create a flavorful and filling casserole. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making this delicious dish.
- Chicken Breasts – 4 boneless, skinless
- Wild Rice – 1 cup
- Chicken Broth – 2 1/2 cups
- Butter – 4 tablespoons
- Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped
- Celery – 2 stalks, finely chopped
- Carrots – 2, finely chopped
- All-Purpose Flour – 1/4 cup
- Heavy Cream – 1 cup
- Salt – 1 teaspoon
- Black Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
- Dried Thyme – 1/2 teaspoon
- Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
- Chopped Fresh Parsley – 2 tablespoons
- Grated Parmesan Cheese – 1/2 cup
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). This is the temperature at which the casserole will bake to golden perfection.
- Start by preparing the wild rice. In a medium saucepan, combine the wild rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- While the rice is cooking, season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until they’re cooked through and have a nice golden sear. Remove the chicken from the skillet and let it rest for a few minutes before chopping it into bite-sized pieces.
- In the same skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the chopped onion, celery, and carrots. Sauté the vegetables until they become tender, which should take about 5-7 minutes.
- Sprinkle the all-purpose flour over the sautéed vegetables, and stir well to create a roux. Cook the roux for a couple of minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste.
- Gradually pour in the heavy cream, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. This creamy mixture will form the base of the casserole sauce.
- Add the minced garlic, dried thyme, and half of the grated Parmesan cheese to the creamy mixture. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth and well-seasoned.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked wild rice, chopped chicken, and the creamy sauce. Mix these components thoroughly to ensure the flavors are evenly distributed.
- Transfer the mixture to a greased 9×13-inch baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
- Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the top of the casserole, and finish it off with a touch of fresh chopped parsley for a burst of color and flavor.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the casserole is hot and bubbling.
- Once done, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crispy.
- Let the casserole rest for a few minutes before serving. The dish will be hot, so be cautious when serving it.
This chicken and wild rice casserole is a wholesome and comforting meal that combines the richness of the creamy sauce with the nuttiness of wild rice and the savory goodness of chicken. It’s a delightful dish that’s perfect for any gathering, and it’s sure to become a family favorite. Enjoy!