The Dish | Chicken with Wild Rice Casserole

An old school San Francisco Junior League “A la Carte” cookbook classic, this recipe has withstood the test of time. It was served at my bridal shower 35 years ago — and still makes for a happy occasion. Easy to pull together, it can be made ahead of time, and is perfect for a potluck supper or a housewarming dish for the new neighbor. Just serve it with a green salad and a good loaf of bread. Enjoy!

  • 3 whole bone-in chicken breasts, halved and skinned (bone in gives more flavor, but is not necessary)
  • 3 cups chicken stock                                      
  • 2 tablespoons Madeira or sweet sherry
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice                               
  • 1 cup canned water chestnuts,* drained and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter                                     
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour     
  • 1 cup heavy cream

*If you don’t like water chestnuts, you can substitute 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms.

  • Poach chicken breasts in stock until tender. Remove and cool, reserve stock. Bone chicken if you used boned breasts and cut into large bite size pieces.
  • Rinse the wild rice and cook as directed (use additional chicken stock if desired).
  • Melt butter until foamy, add flour, and cook and stir for 3 minutes. Gradually add 2 cups reserved chicken stock. Cook and stir until thickened. Cool to room temperature and blend in cream and Madeira or sherry.
  • Combine cooked rice and water chestnuts, if using, or mushrooms.
  • In a buttered casserole dish, layer chicken pieces and rice mixture, making 2 layers. If making ahead you can refrigerate at this point then when ready to bake pour sauce over and sprinkle with cheese. I always add more to my liking.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bake uncovered for 15 minutes; then cover and bake for 15 minutes more.

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