Cheesy Chicken & Wild Rice Hotdish

Lets just say it...I LOVE HOTDISH!!  I'm a good Lutheran girl from Minnesota and we know our hotdishes (go ahead and call them casseroles or whatever you want in your parts)!  Being from Minnesota also throws in love for wild rice too!  :)

I have been a fan of Picky Palate long before I even decided to become a blogger myself.  She likes to post lots of crazy yummy desserts, cookies, and things of the like, but every now and then she throws out a DELICIOUS dinner gem like this one.  I have been making this for a long time, but was finally able to snap a quick pick (albeit on my iPhone and a bit blurry/grainy) so I could share it with you all!  This always goes over well and I hardly get to enjoy leftovers!

Tips: I buy a rotisserie chicken at Costco (they're usually cheaper than preparing the chicken myself) to make this and usually have enough chicken left over to throw another hotdish in the freezer for later (because it makes a great freezer meal for those busy nights).  You can also buy ready-made rice and use in the recipe (from Trader Joe's or your local grocery like PP suggests in her post).


Cheesy Chicken & Wild Rice Hotdish

3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
3 Stalks of Celery, finely chopped
3 Carrots, peeled & finely chopped
3-4 Cloves Garlic, minced (use up 2 TBSP of minced garlic from the jar)
2 Cups Chicken, cooked & shredded
2 Cups Prepared White Rice
2 Cups Prepared Wild Rice
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
1/4 Tsp Garlic Salt
1 1/2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Cheese Sauce:
4 Tbsp Butter
1/4 Cup Flour
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
2 Cups Chicken Broth
2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Saute onion, celery, and carrots until soft - approximately 10 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook for additional minute.  Stir in chicken, rices, and seasoning - reduce heat to low.

In another sauce pan - melt butter over medium-high heat.  Whisk in flour, salt and pepper - then slowly whisk in broth.  Continue stirring until nearly boiling and add in cheese until melted.  Pour cheese sauce into rice mixture and transfer to 9x13 baking dish.  Top with additional cheese and bake for 30 minutes (until cheese is melted through).