My longtime friend John (who’s been mentioned on the blog before, here and here) sent me one of his favorite new recipes to try for chicken and wild rice casserole. Me being me, I “Soup Diva’d” it for simpler preparation and to use ingredients I already had on hand; but the end result was not far from the original. It was comforting, nourishing, and “tasty,” just as John promised; perfect for a stormy almost-spring evening. Enjoy!
- 1 to 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast strips
- 2 6-oz boxes long grain & wild rice dish
- 32 oz chicken broth
- 1 cup half-and-half or milk
- 1 pkg sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 onion, diced (1/2 cup)
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
- 1 tsp dried basil (or 1 tbsp fresh. — can use other herb if you prefer)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)
- 1 jar diced pimiento (optional)
- salt and black pepper to taste
Melt butter in large skillet and add onion, mushrooms, and garlic. Saute on medium-high, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and mushrooms have decreased in size by about half. Stir in flour, then broth, then half-and-half or milk until well combined, scraping the bottom of the pan as needed. Remove from heat and stir in seasoning packets from the rice, almonds, pimiento, and remaining seasonings. Spray oblong casserole dish, pour rice in bottom, and lay chicken on top. Pour skillet contents over chicken and rice and ensure even coverage. Bake covered at 375 degrees for 1 hour.