Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

 

 

This recipe is great to prepare ahead of time, so that you can bake in about 30 minutes for a quick dinner, on a busy weeknight. There is a bit of prep work for this dish, but it is well worth it. I use two different kinds of rice, but you could use just one variety of rice to make it easier.  Also. I generally buy a rotisserie chicken and shred for convenience, versus cooking my own chicken.  I am all about making things simpler!  I am able to stretch two meals out of this dish, if I serve it with a salad and dessert. 

Ingredients you will need:

2- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, finely chopped 

4-5 garlic cloves, minced 

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded

2 cups wild rice, cooked according to package directons

2 cups jasmine, or brown rice, cooked according to package directions 

1 teaspoon of sea salt

black pepper to taste, or 1-2 drops  black pepper vitality essential oil

 

For the cheese sauce:

4 tablespoons of butter

1/4 cup flour,  I use gluten free

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups chicken broth 

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese + an additional 1/12 to 2 cups for the top 

1 drop celery seed vitality essential oil

1 drop black pepper vitality essential oil

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions, carrots, and celery for approximately 10- 12 minutes, or until softened.  Add garlic and stir continuously for 1 minute.  Remove veggies from the skillet and set aside. 

In the same skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high.  Add the butter for the cheese sauce.  Once the butter is melted whisk in the flour.  Whisk until fully incorporated approximately 3 minutes.  Add the salt, and chicken stock, whisking continuously, until thickened.  Add in the 2 cups of cheddar cheese and essential oils. Stir until cheese is melted.  Add chicken, veggies, and rice to cheese mixture and stir until combined.  Transfer mixture to a 9x13 pan and top with remaining cheese. I generally use 2 cups because my family loves cheese!

Bake 25-30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.  Serve with a salad and you have a delicious dinner. 

 

 

 

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