The other day I got a craving for a homey, creamy casserole. And I really wanted wild rice. I sometimes get weird cravings.
This recipe is similar to ones you may have had from the Campbell’s site, but doesn’t use any processed ingredients. Instead of canned condensed soup, herbed chicken broth is thickened with a little flour, and milk is added in to make it a touch creamier. The mixture is combined with wild rice, brown rice, and chicken for a hearty meal. It tastes great, and you can feel good about eating it, too.
This dinner does take a bit of time to make, particularly since wild rice takes a while to cook. But, it’s definitely easy to pull together, and you can assemble it the night before you bake it. I did just that. If you’ve made soups and stews with rice and pasta before, you know they tend to absorb excess liquid in the fridge. So, the next day before baking, I poured about 1/4 cup of broth over the top of the casserole to combat any dryness. You don’t need to do this if you baking the casserole right after assembling it.
Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole with Mushrooms
1/2 cup wild rice
1/2 cup brown rice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. boneless/skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 Tbsp. butter
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 large leek, sliced
1/2 tsp. minced rosemary
1 tsp. minced thyme
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/8 tsp. dried sage
1/4 cup sherry
3 Tbsp. flour
1.5 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup milk (or half and half or cream)
2 Tbsp. breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
cooking spray oil
Bring a large pot with 5-6 qts. of water to a boil. Place the wild rice in a mesh strainer and rinse with cold water for about 30 seconds. Add the rice to the boiling water.
After 20 minutes, rinse the brown rice in the same manner and add to the same pot (you are not removing the wild rice). Simmer for 30 minutes. Drain the rice and then put it back into the pot; cover with the lid. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 and grease a 2 qt. baking dish with spray oil.
Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and then add to the oil. Cook through, about 5 minutes total. Remove the chicken from the pot.
Add the butter to the same pan you used to cook the chicken. Once melted, stir in the mushrooms and leeks. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and the moisture from the mushrooms has been evaporated. Stir in the rosemary, thyme, parsley, and sage. Then, add the sherry to the pan. Deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits and cook until sherry is nearly evaporated.
Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and then cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and stir until thickened. Pour in the milk and cook until warmed through and thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine the mushroom/broth mixture with the rice and chicken (and any accumulated juices). Pour into the baking dish.
Mix the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl with a few turns of cracked pepper, and sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Spray with cooking oil.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.