Chicken and Wild Rice

Last week when I was grocery shopping at Aldi I saw boxes of Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice on an end cap. I was reminded of a chicken and rice dish I made years and years ago and I picked up two boxes of the rice and a can each of cream of chicken soup and cream of mushroom soup. I rarely buy canned soups anymore tending to make more recipes from scratch. Probably because I have more time now and because I love to experiment with new recipes. But we all have old favorite recipes that we’ve hung onto for years and many use creamed soups. If you look on line you’ll find hundreds, if not thousands, of recipes with cream soups. I did a little research and found out that a chemist for Campbell’s Soup invented condensed soup in 1897. Campbells began producing cream of mushroom soup in 1934. That surprised me a little. I thought it was more recent than that. When my mother passed and my dad was cooking for himself I gave him my mom’s recipe for crockpot roast beef. A chuck roast, an envelop of dried French Onion soup and a can of cream of mushroom soup cooked on low all day. He loved it. The meat was tender and you had a nice gravy. A perfect example of what a creamed soup can do.

This recipe is similar in that it requires only four ingredients and in 90 minutes you have dinner. These are the ultimate comfort food recipes.

Ingredients:

8 oz of bacon

1 package of Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice

4 chicken breasts (or leg and thigh pieces if you prefer)

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

Preheat your oven to 350. Line a 9×13 casserole dish with bacon.

Sprinkle the rice and the seasoning packet over the bacon.

Whisk together the two cans of soup along with a half of can of water and pour half of the soup mixture over the rice.

Add the chicken and cover with the second half of the soup mixture.

Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes. While the casserole continues to bake prepare a vegetable and/or a salad to serve with the chicken and rice.

Plate and enjoy.

I served ours with broccoli and cranberry sauce. Because, if it’s chicken or turkey, there has to be cranberry sauce.

NOTE: I used boneless, skinless chicken but the original recipe called for bone in, skin on pieces of chicken. Use whatever chicken parts your prefer and whatever you have on hand. Almost any vegetable would be a good side dish including squash, green beans, or asparagus. I’ve never tried it, but this recipe might also work well with pork chops.

You may be inspired to get out some of your old tried and true recipes that call for creamed soups as we are all staying home during this pandemic. You’ll find them to be great comfort foods, especially during the winter months.