Monday, January 16, 2012

Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole

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. 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. 2. Prepare rice mixes according to package directions.
  3. 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. 4. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese, and top with toasted almonds. Bake 5 minutes.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

I am linked at these wonderful blogs this week.


  1. Newest Follower from The Bewithchin Kitchens Blog Hop! Come say hi!

    We have a blog hop if you would like to link up!

  2. another great recipe... I love these easy ones for crazy nights!

  3. Oh wow! I am going to love this site! You sound like a real cook. For a laugh, you may want to peruse my cooking posts ;)

    Thanks so much for joining Flock Together last week at Mom’s Best Nest . I am now your happy follower and look forward to reading your posts.

  4. Hi Linda! Stopping by from the blog hop to say thank you for joining us! I can't wait to read your blog more and check out all your yummy recipes :)

  5. What a great idea to use wild rice in a chicken casserole! This looks SO GOOD!

  6. This sounds like a great recipe. Thanks for linking up this week @ Things That Make You Say Mmmmm!

  7. Yummy. Thanks for sharing with Simply Delish.


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