My mother made this wonderful chicken and wild rice casserole for our December book club meeting last year. It really was one of the tastiest things I have eaten in a long time and the rest of the ladies agreed! It’s definitely a cold, dreary winter’s night kind of casserole to warm you inside and out. Served with a nice green salad this make a perfect meal.
This is a pretty intensive recipe, so I recommend doubling it and freezing one unbaked casserole for later. It’s definitely worth the effort. Each recipe serves 12.
2 3-lb whole chickens
1 cup water
1 cup sherry
2 celery stalks
1 ½ tsp salt
1 onion, quartered
½ tsp curry powder
¼ tsp poultry seasoning
¼ tsp pepper
1 6-oz. packages long grain and wild rice mix
½ cup butter
1 lb. sliced mushrooms
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 ½ cups Ritz or Club crackers, crushed
1 can French fried onions
¼ cup butter, melted
Dash each of garlic powder, paprika
In a large Dutch oven bring the first 9 ingredients to a boil. Cover and let simmer about 1 hour. Reserve broth and allow chickens to cool. Debone chickens and cut meat into bite-sized cubes.
Pour chicken broth through strainer. Use the broth to cook the wild rice mix according to package directions.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a skillet, melt ½ cup butter and sauté mushrooms and green onions. Combine rice, chicken and vegetables in a large bowl. Add the sour cream and mushroom soup and combine well.
Pour the contents of the bowl into a greased 4-quart casserole. In a small bowl combine cracker crumbs, fried onions, ¼ cup melted butter, garlic and paprika. Spread mixture over the casserole.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. Uncover and bake another 5-10 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Remove from oven and let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.
This is a time-intensive recipe, but I really can’t rave enough about it. It is wonderful!
To save some time, though, use store-bought roasted chickens and premade chicken broth. There are also a few quicker-cooking wild rice mixes available. These time savers can shave over an hour off your cooking and prep time which can be a lifesaver when you have a lot of hungry mouths to feed.