What's For Dinner: Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole

The winter holiday season is the perfect time for cooking make-ahead freezer-friendly meals like this recipe for Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole. It's always nice to have a fully-stocked freezer, particularly when you need to grab something for that holiday potluck you nearly forgot about.

Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole || A Less Processed Life

I partnered with OXO as part of their 'Tis the Season for Freezin' campaign. In order to make my freezer-friendly dish, they provided me a few items, including a glass 3-quart baking dish with lid, a vegetable chopper, and a mini vegetable slicer. The OXO Glass Bakeware is made of thermal shock resistant borosilicate glass, which means it can go from freezer to oven without the need to thaw. Its slosh-proof lid makes it easy to prepare meals in advance, store leftovers, or take on the go. The glass bakeware has generously sized rims, which makes it easy to transport from oven to countertop or table.  The Vegetable Chopper with Easy-Pour Opening lets you quickly and safely chop onions, peppers, and more in one easy motion, and then easily pour chopped fruits or veggies without removing the lid. The Mini Vegetable Slicer allows you to quickly and easily create even slices of small fruits and vegetables.

For my chicken & wild rice casserole, I used the vegetable chopper to quickly chop my carrots and onions, making nicely evenly-sized pieces.  I used the mini vegetable slicer to thinly (and safely!) slice my Brussels sprouts. 

Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole || A Less Processed Life

To make this dish, the sauteed vegetables were combined in the glass baking dish along with the wild rice and vegetable broth. This was cooked in the oven for about an hour and 15 minutes, after which I stirred in my made-from-scratch cream of mushroom soup, which included the aforementioned thinly-sliced Brussels sprouts for a little extra nutrition, and bite-sized chicken pieces. Then everything was placed back in the oven for a final bake before heading to the table to be served.

Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole (printer-friendly version)
makes 6-8 servings

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped white onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup wild rice, rinsed
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup Brussels sprouts (about 5 medium-sized sprouts), ends trimmed and then thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups 1% milk
1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
salt and pepper, to taste
chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Add 1-2 teaspoons olive oil to a medium skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery, and saute until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds. Carefully transfer the vegetables into a 9x13 casserole dish. Add the wild rice and broth and stir to combine. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake in the oven for 75 minutes.
3. When the rice is nearly cooked, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the sliced mushrooms and saute until softened and browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the sliced Brussels sprouts and saute another minute. Then stir in the flour, salt, and fresh herbs, cooking for one minute. Stir in the milk and whisk to combine, until a thick, cream sauce forms.
4. When the rice is finished cooking, remove the foil from the dish, add the chicken and stir in the creamy sauce. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Season with additional salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley.

To reheat: Heat the oven to 350 degrees, then bake in the oven uncovered for 20 minutes, or until heated through.

Discloure: OXO provided me with a Glass 3 Qt Baking Dish with Lid, Vegetable Chopper, and Mini Vegetable Slicer in order to develop the recipe for this post.