Who’s ready for another stop on Sarah’s tour de comfort food? Well ready or not, I’m hooking you up with Midwestern hot dish at its finest and fanciest in the form of these gorgeous wild rice casserole stuffed mushrooms.
First things first: mushrooms.
I am WELL aware that this ingredient can be controversial.
Even within my own family, the mere mention of adding mushrooms when ordering pizza incites total chaos. Cries of dissent are uttered by non-fungi lovers, toppings committees are formed and begin lobbying, bargains are attempted between opposing parties, and comprise is eventually found through the ultimate take-out peace treaty: we order a half topping pizza.
Seriously, what did people do before the era of the half topping pizza? Did they just order two pizzas? Ostracize friends and family that preferred more exotic toppings? Or maybe people were simply better at sucking it up and eating what they were given back then? These are the things I wonder about…
Pizza ordering musings aside, my point is this: don’t use mushrooms if you don’t dig them (pun absolutely intended – always).
I love mushrooms. I think their soft, supple texture is fabulous, and I firmly believe they’re nature’s vegetable sponges designed to soak up whatever delicious flavors that you cook them with. If mushrooms don’t float your boat though, then make this recipe without them. You have my full permission and non-judgement (I know how entrenched mushroom beliefs can be), and I promise this will still taste scrumptious as just casserole.
That’s actually what’s so great about this recipe, it’s totally versatile. Can’t find portobello mushrooms? Substitute with a variety you can find. Accommodating picky eaters? Make half the recipe as stuffed mushrooms and half as a regular casserole. Don’t like ‘shrooms at all? Then leave em’ out! This recipe is the half topping pizza of comfort food; it’s completely adaptable and seeks to foster dinner and world peace.
I hope you give this tasty casserole a try, it’s brimming with fall flavors and features a homemade cream of chicken sauce, poultry seasoning (which essentially smells like Thanksgiving in a jar), nutty wild rice, sweet carrots, savory rotisserie chicken, salty sharp cheddar cheese and fresh parsley to finish things off. What more could you want?
Lastly, feel free to weigh in on the great mushroom debate in the comments below. Remember to keep things civil though folks, we’re all friends here, mushroom lovers and haters alike. Even if that means we have to cook multiple casseroles or order half topping pizzas to keep the peace.
- 4 C Cooked wild rice (I used pre-cooked rice, it actually came in a can and was local)
- 2 C Rotisserie chicken
- 8 Portobello mushroom caps (or one package of regular mushrooms)
- 1½ C Carrots (I used pre-chopped matchsticks)
- 1 C Low sodium chicken stock
- 1 C Half and half
- 1 Small diced yellow onion
- 2½ Oz. Softened cream cheese
- 3 Tbsp Butter
- 3 Tbsp Flour
- 1 Tsp Poultry seasoning
- 1 Minced garlic clove
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Top with about 1½ cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese and freshly chopped parsley
- Cook the wild rice first according to package instructions if you're not using pre-made rice.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Shred about 2 cups of the chicken (you'll probably have some leftover) and set it aside.
- Chop the onion and garlic, and grate the cheddar cheese.
- Clean the portobellos by lightly wiping the outside of each with a damp paper towel, and gently scooping out the inside of each cap with a spoon.
- Warm a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, then line a baking sheet with tin foil. Cook the mushrooms in batches (on both sides) until they have started to soften but still hold their shape, once they're done line them hollowed side up on the baking sheet. (If you're using regular mushrooms cook them in olive oil, and then set aside on a plate to add back into the sauce later with the chicken and rice.)
- Melt the butter in the pan you cooked the mushrooms in. Once its melted add the onions and carrots and cook until they're tender, then add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
- Sprinkle the flour over the veggies, mix everything together and cook until the flour has toasted slightly and the mixture has thickened (the veggies become coated in a sort of paste).
- Slowly add the chicken stock and milk to the pan.
- Stirring often, simmer until the mixture has thickened.
- When the sauce is done, turn off the burner and stir in the cream cheese, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Taste as you go to see if you've added enough salt and pepper.
- Stir the rice and chicken into the sauce mixture, then scoop the casserole into the mushroom caps and top with the shredded cheddar cheese (if baking as a normal casserole simply pour the mixture into a lightly greased pan and top with cheese).
- Bake for 25 minutes until the filling has warmed through and the cheese has melted. Serve warm topped with freshly chopped parsley.