Rolling the Dice and Clinking the Ice

Friday, December 30, 2011

My Go-To Dish. A Casserole by the Queen of Southern Cuisine.

Everyone needs that go-to dish that they whip together for friends and family when they’re in need of a good, home-cooked meal. Maybe you know someone who has been sick, or has had surgery, or better yet they’ve just brought home a brand-new baby… whatever the occasion may be, the recipe I’m about to share with you is the perfect meal to prepare for a friend in need. Naturally, I’m talking about a casserole, and it happens to come from the kitchen of the Queen of Southern Cuisine, Paula Deen. I make her Chicken and Wild Rice casserole all the time; in fact, I made it yesterday for a friend who just had her first baby. And almost everyone who receives this dish from me later asks for the recipe... so I thought this would be the perfect topic for this week’s post.
A couple of side notes before you get started: we leave out the water chestnuts - not really a fan of those around here. I add a little more cheese then she calls for below (maybe half a cup more) and I always use Springer Mountain Farms Chicken. If you live in the state of Georgia then you should be able to pick this product up at your local grocery store. I find Springer Mountain Farms Chicken at my local Kroger and guess whose picture graces their packaging? If you guessed Paula Deen, then you’re right. It’s a funny coincidence for this post. Anyway, this chicken is an all-natural product; Springer Mountain Farms never gives their birds antibiotics, growth stimulants or hormones, and they’re never fed animal by-products. They only receive a vegetarian diet with natural vitamins and minerals. I seriously love this product. Not only am I buying something considerably healthier for my family and me, but I’m also supporting the local economy by purchasing from a local farmer. Oh AND they are American Humane Certified by the American Humane Association which means they put into place good animal husbandry practices. This last attribute is near and dear to my heart since I have such love for all animals, even the ones we raise to be a source of food. Regardless of their life’s purpose, they still deserve to be treated humanely.
I hope you enjoy making this delicious casserole for yourself or for your friends and family! And I also hope you had a Merry Christmas and/or Happy Hanukkah. Lindsay and I both wish you the very best in 2012!
Paula Deen’s Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) can green beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1 medium onion, diced and sauteed
  • 1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (4-ounce) can pimentos, drained
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (6-ounce) box long-grain and wild rice, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
  • Pinch salt
·         Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

·         Heat butter or oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until 
translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.

·         Add all remaining ingredients to bowl and mix together until thoroughly combined.

·         Pour into a greased 3 quart casserole dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Learn more about Springer Mountain Farms here.
Click here to find this recipe online (and more)!  

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