The unique combination of ingredients in this chicken and wild rice casserole delivers a wallop of flavors that tantalize the taste buds. It’s an easy and delicious rustic Cajun dish that’s sure to be a hit!
If you’re like most, your idea of Cajun cooking is based on experiences you’ve had with restaurant-prepared meals. These are usually a combination of French and Southern cuisines, full of flavor and often with a high degree of spicy heat. No question these creamy sauces, blackened dishes, and other Cajun meals are delicious; however, that’s not the Cajun food I’m accustomed to eating.
I’m used to the rustic form of Cajun food with origins along the bayous of Louisiana. That’s where meals are based on available ingredients and preparation is simple. If freshly picked vegetables and harvested seafood is sparse, bayou bred Cajuns turn to the fridge and cupboard. Whatever happens to be available goes into a pot, gets seasoned well, and served with rice oftentimes. Nothing fancy, and never wasteful.
Those guiding principles of rustic Cajun cooking may well be how my uncle created this recipe. From appearances, it certainly looks like an odd combination of whatever he had on hand that day. And, who knows, it may well have been.
It’s so simple to make. Prepare a box of wild rice, then combine it with a couple of fresh veggies and a handful of items found in the fridge and pantry. Mix everything together and bake for 30 minutes for an incredibly flavorful and delicious meal.
In whatever way my Uncle Willie came up with this recipe, I think it’s equal parts genius and scrumptious. This dish is full of flavor that will tantalize your taste buds for sure.
- As you can see from the photo, I use my trusty Classic Cajun Cookware to cook up my onions and mix all the ingredients together. If you decide to skip the step of browning onions, you can also use an 8-quart mixing bowl to combine all the ingredients.
- The 3.2-quart casserole dish in this 8-piece baking dish set is ideal for this recipe. These cook evenly with the added convenience of fitted lids, which make going from the oven to the fridge or freezer so much easier.
- For the love of all things Holy and Cajun, be sure to have a bottle of Crystal Hot Sauce on the table when serving this dish.
- This is a hearty casserole that needs little, if anything, to make a complete meal. A side of bread like a crusty French bread or big, fluffy biscuits is an excellent choice.
- Make this ahead of time for busy nights. After you put the mixture in the lightly greased casserole dish, cover tightly and put in the refrigerator until ready. When ready, move from the fridge into a preheated oven and bake for about 30 to 45 minutes or until bubbly.
- This dish is freezer friendly. You can freeze an unbaked casserole or leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three month. When ready, thaw in the refrigerator. If unbaked, place the mixture in a lightly greased casserole dish and bake as directed. If leftovers, microwave after thawed for 2 to 4 minutes on high.
- I cook the onions before adding all the other ingredients; however, this is an optional step. If you’re in a hurry or want to make life that much easier in the kitchen, skip the step of browning the onions. Simply mix the raw, chopped onions in with all other ingredients before adding to the casserole dish. Results are still as yummy as ever!
- There a variety of choices for packaged long grain and wild rice. I use Ben’s Original 6.2 oz for this recipe because of it cooks fast and has loads of seasonings. Another top choice is the 7 oz. Zatarain’s New Orleans style.
- Between the seasonings in the wild rice and all the various other ingredients, this casserole doesn’t require any added seasonings. Feel free to use salt and pepper, though I recommend sparingly. I typically skip the salt and only add a small amount of fresh ground pepper.
- I recommend the rich and tangy flavors in Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise for this recipe. However, if you prefer the sweeter and zesty flavors found in salad dressings, try using Miracle Whip.
- Leftover rotisserie or grilled chicken mustgoes will work great in this recipe. And, unbelievably, I’ve even used leftover fried chicken. You’ll want to make sure use only the chicken, so remove all skin and fried batter before cutting up.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a comment and star rating below. It’s always refreshing to hear how others like a recipe, find success with it, or tweak to suit. I’d love to hear from you!