- 1 (2.25-oz.) package sliced almonds
- 2 (6.2-oz.) boxes fast-cooking long-grain and wild rice mix
- 1/4 cup butter
- 4 celery ribs, chopped (1 & ½ Cups)
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 5 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 2 (10 3/4-oz.) cans cream of mushroom soup ( GF)
- 2 (8-oz.) cans chopped water chestnuts, drained
- 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups (16 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
- 2 cups soft, fresh gluten-free breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Bake almonds in a single layer in a shallow pan 4 to 6 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
- Prepare rice mixes according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add celery and onions. Sauté 10 minutes or until tender.
- Stir in chicken, next 6 ingredients, rice, and 3 cups cheese.
- Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch baking dish or 2 (11- x 7-inch) baking dishes.
- Top with gf breadcrumbs.
- Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.
- Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese, and top with toasted almonds. Bake 5 minutes.
- To Make Ahead: Prepare as directed. Cover with aluminum foil, and freeze up to 1 month. Remove from freezer, and let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Toast almonds as directed. Bake casserole, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 55 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese and toasted almonds. Bake 5 more minutes.
- Shrimp-and-Wild Rice Casserole: Substitute 2 pounds. peeled and deveined, medium-size raw shrimp (4 1/50 count) for chicken; 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese and 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese for Cheddar cheese; and 1 cup dry white wine for milk.
- Cajun Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole: Omit salt and pepper. Reduce chicken to 2 1/2 cups. Prepare as directed, sautéing 1 pound andouille sausage, chopped, and 1 green bell pepper, diced, with celery, 1 (15-oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained, and 1 teaspoon. Cajun seasoning into rice mixture. Proceed as directed