Awhile back we had a bunch of full roasted chickens left after a dinner and we didn’t know what to do with them, until hubby had the idea of taking all the meat off and freezing it into 3 lb bags to be used for casseroles. We picked three pounds because it seemed that all the recipes we were using called for about that much. When he finished prepping the bags we had 3 bags of chicken for us to put in the freezer and 1 bag for each of our mothers to use.
So a couple of weeks ago we had a night off from sporting events where we could have one of those casserole nights. We scoured the binder of recipes and found the Paula Deen Chicken and Rice casserole that we made a few years ago. Hubby checked the pantry for ingredients and made shopping list that he could grab during the day. When I came home from work, the casserole was already in the final prep phases and ready for the oven.
My one concern was the water chestnuts. I am not a fan of them, but hubby left them whole so I could find them easily and push them aside. So my plate look like a little kids plate at the end of the meal with a pile of water chestnut cast to the side. For our daughter, she had a pile of the dark meat from the chicken. She is not a fan of that. So when preparing this, adjust to your taste preferences.
This casserole makes a lot, so there were plenty of left overs.
Chicken and Rice Casserole
2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
3 cups diced, cooked chicken
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans green beans, drained and rinsed
1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 (4-ounce) jar pimentos
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (6-ounce) box long-grain wild rice, cooked according to package directions (allow time for this to cook before preparing dish)
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat butter or oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.
Add all remaining ingredients to bowl and mix together until thoroughly combined.
Pour into a greased 3-quart casserole dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.