Chicken with wild rice was my go-to "casserole-for-a-crowd" back in my Bunco days. I appropriated the recipe from my mother, who, I believe, appropriated it from my godmother’s mother (would that make her my god-grandmother?). When I transitioned to Keno, I made another transition . . . to tetrazzini, the recipe for which I will share in another post. I thought that I would post this one first, though, as it’s an oldie-but-goodie that you just don’t see that often anymore.
This is a good cold-weather dish – sticks to your ribs, for sure – and, as I recall, it fills a couple of casserole dishes without doubling, so it’s a good “cook once, eat twice” recipe. Put one pan in the freezer to thaw and eat later, or share some with a friend.
CAROLE’S (OR MAYBE LYDIA'S) CHICKEN-WILD RICE CASSEROLE
2 whole broiler-fryer chickens, 3 lbs. each
1 cup water
1 cup dry sherry
1½ tsps. salt
½ tsp. curry powder
1 medium onion, sliced
½ cup sliced celery
1 lb. fresh mushrooms
1 clove garlic, crushed
¼ cup butter
2 (6-oz.) pkgs. Uncle Ben’s long-grain wild rice
1 cup dairy sour cream
1 (10½-oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
Place chicken in a tall Dutch oven. Add water, sherry, salt, curry powder, onion and celery. Bring to a boil; cover tightly. Reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Remove from heat; strain broth. Refrigerate chicken and broth at once. When chicken is cool, remove meat from bones; discard skin. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Wash mushrooms and pat dry; add 1 clove of crushed garlic and some chopped parsley to the mushrooms, and sauté in butter until golden-brown. Measure chicken broth and use as part of liquid for cooking rice, following package directions for firm rice. Combine chicken, rice and mushrooms. Blend sour cream and undiluted mushroom soup. Toss together with chicken mixture. Cover; refrigerate. To heat, bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
(Editor's note: I love looking at my mother's recipes. They refer to archaic things, like "#3 cans." Near as I can figure out, this is a reference to the largish cans that fruit and vegetables come in, versus the half cans that usually contain peaches, pears, corn or peas (#2 cans?), versus the flat cans that diced pineapple comes in. Another archaic reference, faithfully reproduced above: "dairy sour cream." As opposed to the non-dairy kind? I don't even want to know.)