betty draper's wild rice and chicken casserole

>> Thursday, September 16, 2010

the entire time i was making this casserole last night, i couldn't help but think i was channeling my inner betty draper - minus the cheating husband. this is one of those classic recipes your grandma most likely made back in the day while wearing high heels and a glamorous dress (and probably in a kitchen just like this). it's the perfect comfort meal when you've had a long day and work/school/gym and just want something delicious.

i found the recipe over at picky palate. she used a pre-made wild rice from trader joes. if you can't find it, you can use any other brand or even all white rice if needed. here's my take on it:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 stalks celery, finely diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
2 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed
2 cups steamed white rice
16 oz prepared wild rice
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

 for the cheese sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, extra to top casserole

preheat oven to 350 degrees. heat evoo into a medium dutch oven over medium heat. saute onion, celery and carrots until softened, about 10 minutes. stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. stir in chicken, both rices, s&p and garlic salt. reduce heat to low.

to prepare cheese sauce melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium high heat. whisk in flour and s&p then slowly pour in chicken broth whisking continuously. whisk until thick and nearly boiling then stir in cheese (with wooden spoon) until melted. pour cheese sauce into rice mixture then transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish. top with additional cheddar cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted through.


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