Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice

This is my favorite meal made in this house.  It took me awhile to be able to arrive at that statement, but it just must be declared.  Chicken breasts bites are nestled into a rich, flavorful, creamy sauce, baked with seasoned wild rice, and garnished with crunchy slivered almonds.  In my book, it just doesn’t get any better than this.

chicken and rice3

And it’s easy.

If you’re looking for that meal to serve that you know even the picky guests will love, this is it, friends.  This is the recipe I pull out when I’m not sure what folks will enjoy, but I want them to love my food.   It hasn’t failed me yet, and I’ve made this one for at least a dozen years.  

Begin by preparing a box of Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice as directed on the package.  I use my rice cooker and just dump everything in while I make the rest.

While the rice is cooking, your next job is to cook up 4 chicken breasts however you’d like.  I like to cut them into bite-sized pieces and season them with salt and pepper and a little garlic powder or Real Salt Seasoned Salt and sauté them in refined coconut oil in my cast iron skillet to get the most flavor out of them.

Now, for the sauce.  In a good-sized skillet over medium heat, melt 1 stick (1/2 c.) butter, add in 1/2 c. flour and whisk together until combined.

Slowly pour in 1 1/2 c. chicken broth

and then 2 1/4 c. milk, whisking as you go.

Allow the mixture to come up to boiling, whisking away, until it thickens and turns into a lovely gravy-like sauce.

Add in 1 tsp. salt,

1/2 tsp. pepper,

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce.

And my most recent addition that brings the whole thing to perfection, 4 oz. of cream cheese.

By now, hopefully your rice is done.  In a 9×13″ pan combine the rice and the chicken, and pour the sauce over the top.  Stir to combine.

Bake this loveliness for 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Garnish with slivered almonds.

For extra goodness, if you are a mushroom lover like I am, sauté a cup or so of fresh sliced mushrooms in some butter and throw those in before you bake.

chicken and rice4

Seriously, if you don’t come back and thank me for this, I will be shocked.  Especially when I tell you that this makes a perfect freezer meal.  Put it in a foil pan and freeze it before baking.  When you’d like to eat my favorite meal, pull it out of the freezer a day ahead and keep it in the fridge until thawed.  Bake as directed.

You’re welcome.  And happy eating!!

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Grocery List:

1 box Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice

1/2 c. butter

1/2 c. flour

1 1/2 c. chicken broth

2 1/4 c. milk

1 tsp. salt

1/2  pepper

2 tsp. Worcestershire

4 oz. cream cheese

1 cup sautéed fresh mushrooms (optional)

slivered almonds for garnish

Caramel Cheesecake Bars

I think this might be my new favorite.  No, I really mean it this time.

caramel cheesecake5

I know I’ve said it many dessert recipes before, but this one is soooooo good.  I found it on a quest to locate a recipe that would utilize one of my favorite guilty pleasures.  It’s a little unsung hero named the Golden Oreo.  No, Oreo has not paid me to promote these little guys, but if Nabisco is paying attention, I’m your girl.

Before trying these delicious little guys, I was convinced they would taste like those nasty little yellow sandwich cookies you had to eat after church with gross red punch.

Not so much.  These fellas are spectacular and I often buy them INSTEAD of their chocolatey brothers.

So, here is a recipe combining Golden Fabulous Oreos with cheesecake filling including marshmallow fluff (!!!) and caramel.  Yeah…drool...

caramel cheesecake2

Begin by crushing 18 Golden Oreos and adding 3 T. melted butter.  Press this deliciousness into an 8×8′ square pan.  Bake the crust for 10 minutes or so or until the crust is golden.  Let cool.

Melt about 5 oz. caramels with 1 T. water on low in a small pan stirring frequently.  You can either use wrapped caramels (I would strongly suggest unwrapping them first) :o) or you can use the little caramel bits now sold in the baking aisle instead and save a step.

In a mixing bowl, mix together 2–8 oz. pkgs. of cream cheese (softened) with

1 cup marshmallow fluff until smooth

and then add in 1 egg and beat until smooth.

Spread marshmallow fluff and cream mixture over the crust.

Pour the melted caramels over the top and give it a little swirl with a knife.

Now, roughly chop 10 more Golden Oreos and sprinkle these over the top.

Bake the whole thing at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or so or until the center is set.  Cool and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

caramel cheesecake

Caramel Cheesecake Bars Grocery List:

28 Golden Oreos, divided

3 T. butter

1 bag of caramels or caramel bits

1 T. water

2–8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese

1 c. marshmallow fluff

1 egg

Many thanks, a high-five, and perhaps a virtual hug given to Shelly at Cookies and Cups for sharing this recipe originally from Nabisco.