Southern Living’s Chicken and Wild Rice Skillet Bake


The weather this weekend in VA was beautiful, but confusing! I sat by the pool, baking in the sunshine with a cold iced tea, while flipping through the latest issue of Southern Living, full of crockpot meals, soups, and other fall favorites. I enjoyed one last poolside weekend, but bring on the chilly weather! This recipe from Southern Living caught my eye and didn’t disappoint. It takes a little time, but was savory and satisfying and good for a crisp fall night. Make sure to use a big enough skillet or oven-proof pan! I started off with a smaller cast-iron skillet and halfway through had to switch to a bigger pan. Oops. Enjoy!

1 1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
6 oz uncooked wild rice
3 tbsp butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup skim milk
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
3/4 tsp fresh black pepper, divided
1/2 cup bacon, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp dry sherry
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
fresh flat-leaf parsley and sliced almonds for garnishes

1) Bring 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in rice, return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for 30 min.
2) Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy saucepan over low heat, then whisk in flour until smooth.
3) Gradually whisk in milk, then broth and dry mustard. Turn heat up to medium and cook for 4 minutes, whisking constantly until mixture is thickened and starting to bubble. Stir in 1/4 tsp salt and pepper.
4) Cook bacon in 1 tbsp oil in a large (12-in +) cast-iron skillet or large oven-proof pan. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown. Stir in the onion, carrots, and mushrooms, and cook for another 5 minutes or until onions are tender.
5) Stir in garlic, cook 1 minute. Stir in sherry, and cook 1 minute until evaporated. Remove mixture to a bowl.
6) Preheat oven to 375.
7) Season chicken with remaining 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to skillet or pan you were using before, and cook chicken in oil over medium-high heat for 4 minutes on each side, or until brown.
8) Remove skillet from heat, transfer chicken to a plate.
9) Drain rice if there’s any water left over, then pour into your skillet. Mix in the bacon/veggie mixture and the sauce, and stir together.
10) Put chicken on top of the mixture and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Serve with chopped up fresh parsley and sliced almonds!


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