Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole #100

YAY!!!!  I've officially made my goal and tried 100 new recipes in 2010!  It seems like just yesterday when I watched Julie and Julia and decided to challenge myself.  It took a little longer than expected after the morning (aka all-day) sickness started, but I've done it!!! 

One of my favorite soups is creamy chicken and wild rice, so I was excited to see this casserole.  I can't wait to try the added ingredients of almonds and mushrooms. 

The case:
- 2, 4 1/2 oz cans, sliced mushrooms drained (reserve broth) or 16 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
-  1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups half-and-half
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves cooked and diced
- 2, 6 oz boxes long-grain and wild rice mix, such as Uncle Ben's, cooked
- 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced pimento
- 4 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9 x 13 x 2-inch casserole dish.
2.  If you use fresh mushrooms, saute them in a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter until tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain and reserve juice.
3.  In a large skillet, saute the onion in the remaining butter until tender.  Stir in the flour, cooking 2 to 3 minutes.
4.  Combine the mushroom juice with enough broth to make 3 cups of liquid.  Slowly stir the juice-broth mixture into the onion mixture.  Stir in the half and half.  Cook until the mixture is thickened.
5.  Add the sauteed or canned mushrooms, the chicken, rice, almonds, pimento, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Pour into prepare dish and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until most of liquid is absorbed.

The ruling:
This is the perfect comfort food casserole.  I omitted the pimento- not a big pepper fan.  Next time, I'll omit the onion as well.  I used less than what was called for and it still tasted too oniony for me. 

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