Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole


Perfect for a large gathering or cut in half for a family dinner. 


1 (2.25-oz.) package sliced almonds
2 (6.2-oz.) boxes fast-cooking long-grain and wild rice mix
1/4 cup butter
4 celery ribs, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
5 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 (10 3/4-oz.) cans cream of mushroom soup
2 (8-oz.) cans chopped water chestnuts, drained
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cups (16 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
2 cups soft, fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake almonds in a single layer in a shallow pan 4 to 6 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
  • 2. Prepare rice mixes according to package directions.
  • 3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add celery and onions. Sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in chicken, next 6 ingredients, rice, and 3 cups cheese. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch baking dish or 2 (11- x 7-inch) baking dishes. Top with breadcrumbs.
  • 4. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese, and top with toasted almonds. Bake 5 minutes.
  • To Make Ahead: Prepare as directed in Steps 2 and 3. Cover with aluminum foil, and freeze up to 1 month. Remove from freezer, and let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Toast almonds as directed in Step 1. Bake casserole, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 55 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese and toasted almonds. Bake 5 more minutes.
  • Shrimp-and-Wild Rice Casserole: Substitute 2 lb. peeled and deveined, medium-size raw shrimp (4 1/50 count) for chicken; 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese and 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese for Cheddar cheese; and 1 cup dry white wine for milk.
  • Cajun Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole: Omit salt and pepper. Reduce chicken to 2 1/2 cups. Prepare as directed, sautéing 1 lb. andouille sausage, chopped, and 1 green bell pepper, diced, with celery in Step 3. Stir 1 (15-oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained, and 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning into rice mixture. Proceed as directed.

This recipe had outstanding reviews. It came from Southern Living, my fav, November 2011. Enjoy! Cut this recipe in half to make 1 11x7 dish.

Yum

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5 comments:

passion fruit, paws and peonies said...

Oooo I love the sound of this! Such comfort food. Thanks for this delicious recipe xx

Unknown said...

I like the idea of almonds on a casserole. Thank you for sharing this delicious casserole at Fiesta Friday!

Create With Joy said...

Wish I was dining with you tonight Linda - your recipe looks SO good!
Thanks for sharing with us at Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy.
CONGRATS - you are one of our Featured Guests this week! :-)

Donna Reidland said...

This sounds wonderful. In fact, so do all the variations. I'm pinning for the holidays.

Mary K. said...

This looks so mouthwateringly delicious. Just give me chicken with anything and i am happy but this is even better!

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