2 (3-pound) whole chickens (I only used 2 pounds of chicken tenders)
1 cup water
1 cup dry sherry (I used white wine)
2 celery stalks
1 onion, quartered
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder (I left it out - I don't like curry)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning (I left it out - we didn't have any)
2 (6-ounce) packages long-grain and wild rice mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 (8-ounce) packages sliced mushrooms
1 bunch green onions, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream (I used Greek yogurt)
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 sleeve round buttery crackers, crushed (about 1 1/2 cups) (I used oyster crackers)
1 (6-ounce) can French-fried onions, crushed
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Bring first 9 ingredients to a boil in a large Dutch oven; reduce heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour or until chicken is done. Remove chicken, reserving broth in Dutch oven. Let chicken cool. Pour broth through a fine wire mesh strainer into an 8-cup liquid measuring cup; discard solids.
Cook rice according to package directions, substituting 4 1/4 cups reserved chicken broth for water and omitting butter. (Add water to broth to equal 4 1/4 cups, if necessary.)
Skin, bone, and coarsely chop or shred chicken.
Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; add mushrooms and green onions, and sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in rice, chicken, sour cream, and soup. Spoon mixture into 8 (2-cup) casserole dishes, 8 (5 1/2- x 3 1/2- x 2-inch) mini-loaf pans, 3 (8-inch or 9-inch) square baking dishes, or 1 (4-quart or 15- x 10-inch) casserole dish.
Stir together crushed crackers and fried onions. Stir in 1/4 cup melted butter, paprika, and garlic powder. Sprinkle casserole evenly with cracker mixture.
Bake, covered, at 350° for 20 to 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 to 10 more minutes or until bubbly.
To make ahead: Cover casseroles tightly with foil, and freeze unbaked up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Bake as directed. (Casserole may also be baked frozen. Plan to double the baking times.)
To microwave one frozen, unbaked 8-inch square casserole: Casserole must be in a microwave-safe dish. Cover dish with wax paper. Microwave at HIGH 15 to 16 minutes or until casserole is bubbly, giving dish a half-turn once.
To microwave one thawed, unbaked 8-inch square casserole: Follow directions to microwave a frozen, unbaked casserole, reducing microwave time to 7 to 8 minutes.
Kitchen Express: Use 2 deli-roasted chickens (about 2 pounds each) in place of boiled chickens. Use 1 cup dry sherry and 3 1/4 cups (26 ounces) canned chicken broth to cook rice.
**For some reason, during the winter, I am always on the hunt for an amazing chicken and mushroom rice casserole. I think that is my equivalent of a "stick-to-your-ribs" filling winter meal. I have been through a lot of recipes, but they always seem so bland. This recipe has some great flavors. My changes are listed above in italics. I made the changes based on what I had in my pantry. We made this last Wednesday for our weekly "dinner with my parents." It was very good and everyone left with full warm winter bellies! This recipe would be great for a make and take event and was easy enough for a weeknight meal. Original recipe found here. Enjoy!
photo credit: My Recipes