Everyone seems to have a version of chicken-and-rice casserole. It’s a universal comfort food, no matter where you grew up. I like the texture of the pecans on top of this casserole and the sophistication of leeks and white Cheddar.
Courtesy of Southern Living Around the Southern Table by Rebecca Lang, Oxmoor House 2012.
|1 cup uncooked long-grain and wild rice mix (such as RiceSelect Royal Blend Texmati white, brown, red, and wild rice blend)||1 cup sour cream|
|1 leek||1 teaspoon salt|
|2 tablespoons unsalted butter||1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper|
|1 (16-ounce) package fresh mushrooms, stemmed and quartered||1/2 cup white Cheddar cheese, shredded|
|1/2 cup dry white wine||1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans|
|4 cups shredded roasted or rotisserie chicken||Garnish: chopped chives|
Cook wild rice blend according to package directions.
Meanwhile, remove and discard root, tough outer layers, and top from leek, leaving white portion and 3 inches of dark green portion. Cut into quarters lengthwise. Thinly slice leek; rinse well, and drain.
Preheat oven to 350°. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add leek, and cook 6 to 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Add mushrooms, and cook, stirring often, 15 minutes. Add wine, and bring to a simmer; cook 3 minutes.
Transfer rice to a large bowl. Add leek mixture to rice; stir until blended. Add chicken and next 3 ingredients; stir until blended. Transfer to a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Top with cheese.
Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Top with pecans; bake 10 more minutes or until pecans are toasted and mixture is bubbly. Garnish, if desired.
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