Cheesy chicken and wild rice casserole
Hey, guess what? I got my kids to eat rice that didn’t come with an artificially flavored seasoning packet! Woot! And not only did they eat it without even one complaint, they actually loved it. Ate it twice, as a matter of fact, because we had leftovers the next day.
We all thought this casserole was delicious but I just wish the darn rice didn’t take so long to cook. Not that it’s labor intensive or anything, but it isn’t an instant meal either. Because I used two kinds of rice with two different cooking times, I felt like I spent a long time cooking and waiting. I’m as bad as the kids really. I like instant gratification as much as they do. Shame on me though, because when it comes to cooking or baking, sometimes it’s definitely worth the wait. This casserole is one of those times. We sat down to a yummy, hot, cheesy meal that we all enjoyed. Worth the time, for sure.
Recipe: Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
(recipe slightly adapted from Picky Palate)
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 stalks celery, finely diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 cloves fresh minced garlic
2 c. cooked and shredded chicken breasts
2 c. cooked brown rice
2 c. cooked wild rice
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. milk
3 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil into a dutch oven 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, and pepper. Reduce heat to low.
To prepare cheese sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in flour, salt, and pepper then slowly pour in chicken broth whisking continuously. Add milk. Whisk until thick and nearly boiling then stir in 2 cups of shredded cheese until melted. Pour cheese sauce into rice mixture, then transfer to a lightly greased 9×13″ baking dish. Top with additional 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes.