Chicken Casserole: Leslie's Favorite Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole

posted by SuzyQ45 11-16-100 2:46 PM

Leslie’s Favorite Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole

2 (6.2-ounce) package fast-cooking long-grain and wild rice mix
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 medium onions, chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped
2 (8-ounce) cans sliced water chestnuts, drained
5 cups chopped cooked chicken
4 cups cups (1 pound) shedded Cheddar cheese, divided
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
2 (8-ounce) containers sour cream
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup soft breadcrumbs (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare rice according to package directions; set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onion, celery and water chestnuts. Saute 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in rice, chicken, 3 cups cheese, and next 5 ingredients; spoon mixture into a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch baking dish or a 4-quart casserole. Top with breadcrumbs if desired. Bake casserole at 350F for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese, and bake 5 more minutes.

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