Monday, January 20, 2014

Chicken, Wild Rice & Sausage Casserole

2 pkg. Ready to Serve Brown & Wild Rice
4 chicken breasts, cooked, boned, and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 lb. mild bulk sausage
1 can (4 oz.) Shiitake mushrooms, drained
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup Panko bread crumbs (or 1 cup French fried onions)

Cook rice according to package.  In a large frying pan brown sausage, breaking into pieces.  Drain excess grease. Add mushrooms, soup, Worcestershire sauce and milk.  Mix until well blended.  Add rice and chicken.  Mix well.  Place in 9 x 13 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine breadcrumbs and butter.  Sprinkle over dish (or use French fried onions, no butter added).  Bake 30-35 minutes or until bubbly and breadcrumbs are slightly browned.  Serves 8

Martha:  I was a little unsure about using the sausage in this dish but from the reviews I've gotten from my food testers, I'm glad I did.  The original recipe called for long grain & wild rice but I decided to speed it up by using the Ready to Serve Minute Rice.  I also changed the fresh mushrooms to the canned Shiitake.  It called for canned milk which I changed to half & half.  And then I did something that I do quite often.  I sprinkled half of the dish with the Panko and butter breadcrumbs and the other half with French fried onions.  That gave me 2 different tastes.  Which did I like best?  Both!

Lillian: This dish is great for a pot luck dinner especially since the bulk of the work can be done the day, or evening, before it is needed. For home, I will have to bake it in two smaller dishes and freeze one for later use. This one is definitely a "try it, you'll like it" recipe.

Food Tester Carol:  If you are just lolling around on a Sunday afternoon and need something to bring you up to a positive spin and make you feel like singing, then try this recipe which will be a quick and easy way to remind yourself of all the great Thanksgiving and Christmas meals with sage dressing. How does Martha get such a nice “bite” in these dishes, that are tender and easy to eat but still have something crunchy to make them feel like a snack!

Poultry Seasoning (this isn't a tip but it's good) - This blend brings out the best flavors of chicken and poultry without adding salt.  It's a good addition to stews, soups, casseroles, stuffings, and dumplings.
1/2 cup dried sage, 1 cup dried parsley, 1/4 cup dried rosemary, 1.4 cup dried summer savory, 1 Tbsp. fresh marjoram or 1/4 cup dried, 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, 1.2 tsp. onion powder.