Bring first 9 ingredients to a boil in a large Dutch oven; reduce heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour or until chicken is done. Remove chicken, reserving broth in Dutch oven. Let chicken cool. Pour broth through a fine wire mesh strainer into an 8-cup liquid measuring cup; discard solids.
Cook rice according to package directions, substituting 4 1/4 cups reserved chicken broth for water and omitting butter. (Add water to broth to equal 4 1/4 cups, if necessary.)
Skin, bone, and coarsely chop or shred chicken.
Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; add mushrooms and green onions, and sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in rice, chicken, sour cream, and soup. Spoon mixture into 8 (2-cup) casserole dishes, 8 (5 1/2- x 3 1/2- x 2-inch) mini-loaf pans, 3 (8-inch or 9-inch) square baking dishes, or 1 (4-quart or 15- x 10-inch) casserole dish.
Stir together crushed crackers and fried onions. Stir in 1/4 cup melted butter, paprika, and garlic powder. Sprinkle casserole evenly with cracker mixture.
Bake, covered, at 350° for 20 to 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 to 10 more minutes or until bubbly.
To make ahead: Cover casseroles tightly with foil, and freeze unbaked up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Bake as directed. (Casserole may also be baked frozen. Plan to double the baking times.)
To microwave one frozen, unbaked 8-inch square casserole: Casserole must be in a microwave-safe dish. Cover dish with wax paper. Microwave at HIGH 15 to 16 minutes or until casserole is bubbly, giving dish a half-turn once.
To microwave one thawed, unbaked 8-inch square casserole: Follow directions to microwave a frozen, unbaked casserole, reducing microwave time to 7 to 8 minutes.
Kitchen Express: Use 2 deli-roasted chickens (about 2 pounds each) in place of boiled chickens. Use 1 cup dry sherry and 3 1/4 cups (26 ounces) canned chicken broth to cook rice.
This was a lot of work, but worth every minute and I will make it again. It was a little soupy when first prepared, but like most casseroles it firmed up and tasted even better the next day. Unfortunately, I'm not the type to put a couple of hours into preparing something and then waiting a day to eat it! Fortunately, this makes a lot, so there was plenty left for the next day and the freezer, and it reheats beautifully. The only changes I made were to substitute chicken broth for the water in the cooking liquid and used it to poach boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 3 pounds) which stays moister than breasts (plus we like dark meat). I also doubled the green onions because we like them, too. Since this spends some time in the oven, I was also careful not to overcook the chicken or mushroom-onion mixture. This was perfect with a Caesar salad, crusty rolls and a nice Chardonnay.
I really like this recipe. It took a bit of time and I used one 6-lb chicken instead of 2 smaller ones. I think next time I might make the chicken ahead of time and then assemble the dish on a separate day. Or, I could use rotisserie chicken. Topping is great!
Yum! I've made this a few times, and each time only made half of it. I use one chopped rotisserie chicken, which makes it super easy. I add chopped onion and celery and saute them with the mushrooms and green onions. Everyone is right about the topping--just plain crunchy goodness--comfort food at its tastiest! Also, fyi: you can make this with less than half the butter that the recipe calls for and light sour cream and it's still delicious.
I found myself disappointed with this recipe. It took almost 4 hours to make from start to finish. The fat and salt content in the recipe is incredibly high. Because of this, I expected lots of flavor, but it ended up just OK. My son, who is a "keep it simple" eater, was the only person in my family that wanted me to make this again. This recipe does make a ton of food!
To answer Diane's question, yes, the 1 cup measurements for water and sherry are correct. The chicken releases some juices (and you probably get some water from condensation) so you end up with more liquid than 2 cups. I had about 3 1/4 cups of the broth when the roasts were done cooking.