Such a savory and delicious way to enjoy wild rice in a meal! This casserole is a great option to add to your week-night dinner rotation.
A few weeks ago I was the lucky recipient of a package sent to me by my very good friend Kendis. I was insanely excited to find two plastic bags stuffed full of hand-picked wild rice inside! Her husband hand-picked it, you guys! Isn't that the best? And it was so very nice of them to part with a portion of their harvest. I will not let a single kernel go to waste, I promise!
I already have a wild rice soup that I love, so I pondered turning that recipe into a casserole. Then I found this on good ol' Pinterest (source: Picky Palate) and basically began drooling all over myself. It was fabulous. I liked it even better as left-overs, and they did not last long. Dan and I ate this entire pan up in no time.
(recipe adapted from: picky-palate.com)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
In a Dutch oven (or heavy saucepan or skillet), heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 stalks of celery, sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
Cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add 3 cloves of minced garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.
Meat from 1 Rotisserie chicken (shredded) or 4 chicken breast halves (cooked and shredded)
2 cups prepared wild rice
2 cups prepared brown rice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Mix well and remove from heat.
In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Gradually add 2 cups of chicken broth, whisking constantly. Whisk until it becomes thick and is just barely boiling. This takes around 7-10 minutes.
Add 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.
Add the cheese sauce to the chicken-rice mixture and mix well. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Top with 1-2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, depending on how cheesy you want to get!
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Serve gooey and warm!