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Wild Rice, Roasted Chicken, and Pumpkin Bake

Wild Rice, Roasted Chicken, and Pumpkin Bake

Wild Rice, Roasted Chicken and Pumpkin Bake 

Say “YES” to a vitamin packed wild rice and chicken casserole that is a twist on the traditional chicken and rice version. This casserole recipe gets “Pump-ed Up” with some pumpkin, which brings on tons of nutrition and sweet flavor.

Go wild with wild rice!

Actually, it’s not a rice…it’s a grass! Wild Rice is a semi-aquatic grass that historically has grown in lakes, tidal rivers and bays, in water between 2 and 4 feet deep. The vitamins and minerals alone in wild rice and pumpkin will cause you to bake this casserole. Check out wild rice and pumpkin’s FDA daily portion impact, it will blow your mind!

Wild rice is a long-grain marsh grass native to the northern Great Lakes area. Now it’s commercially grown in California and the Midwest. Wild rice was originally called Indian Rice. I guess because it was originally harvested by American Indians. And I believe it still is in some areas. Wild rice are four species of grasses forming the genus Zizania, and the grain that can be harvested from them. Wild Rice is one of only two commonly-eaten grains native to North America (the other one is corn), it originated in the area of the upper Great Lakes in what is now both the U.S. and Canada.

Serves 8-10

[ingredients title=”Equipment”]

[/ingredients]

[ingredients title=”Ingredients”]

  • 1             Onion,  diced small (not larger than the grain of wild rice)
  • 2             Carrots, peeled and diced small (same as above)
  • 2             Stalks celery, diced small (same as above)
  • 3             Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 C          Wild rice, rinsed
  • 1-2 .       Thyme, sprigs 
  • 3 C          Chicken broth
  • 1 C           Pumpkin, diced 1/2” pieces *
  • 1 C           Chicken breast, raw cut into 1” pieces *
  • 4 T           Butter
  • 1 t             Salt
  • 1/2 t         Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t         Poultry seasoning
  • 4 T            AP  flour
  • 2 C            Milk
  • Garlic & Cheese Croutons, coarsely ground for topping
  • 1/4 C         Italian parsley, minced

[/ingredients]

[directions title=”Directions”]

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray large baking dish with Pam and spread the diced onion, carrots, and celery (mirepoix) evenly across bottom of dish. Sprinkle the wild rice evenly over the mirepoix, sprinkle on garlic and lay the sprigs of fresh thyme on top (You can remove before adding chicken, pumpkin, and béchamel).  Pour broth over mixture. Cover tightly (no lid, use foil) and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.
  2. While the rice is baking, melt four tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and poultry seasoning and cook for one minute. Add the milk slowly, whisking to form a thick, white sauce (a seasoned béchamel).
  3. When the rice is  almost done, remove from oven along with lid, add chicken, pumpkin, and béchamel, and stir to combine. Layer the coarsely ground croutons on top. Return to oven, bake uncovered for another 30 minutes.
  4. Garnish with parsley.

[/directions]

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