This rustic one-pot meal, a company's-coming riff on the old-school chicken-and-rice number, is held together by a tangy gravy flavored with country ham and mushrooms. Nutty wild rice helps sop up all the good chicken gravy.
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 (6-oz.) container uncooked wild rice
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped country ham or bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 large carrot, finely chopped
8 ounces assorted fresh mushrooms, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons dry sherry or white wine
4 skinned and boned chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb.)
Bring 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and 1 qt. water to a boil in a 3-qt. saucepan over high heat. Stir in rice, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and next 2 ingredients. Increase heat to medium, and cook, whisking constantly, 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in 1/4 tsp. each kosher salt and black pepper.
Cook ham in 1 Tbsp. hot oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 6 minutes or until beginning to brown. Stir in onion and next 2 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes or until onions are tender. Stir in garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add sherry, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until sherry is evaporated. Remove mixture from skillet.
Preheat oven to 375°. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to skillet. Cook chicken in hot oil over medium-high heat 4 minutes on each side or until brown. Remove skillet from heat; transfer chicken to a plate.
Drain rice. Stir together rice, ham mixture, and sauce in skillet. Place chicken on top of rice mixture.
Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and chicken is done. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Note: We tested with Canoe 100% Natural Wild Rice.
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This recipe would be easier if cooked in a different order. Cook rice in a sauce pan, while rice is cooking, brown chicken in a cast iron skillet, After browning, place chicken on a plate. Cook vegetables in the iron skillet you browned chicken in, adding butter or oil if necessary. Add sherry and cook off. No need to cook ham. Easier to buy precooked chopped ham. Add rice and ham to cooked veggies. Top with chicken and pop the iron skillet into the oven. While chicken is baking, prepare gravy. With this method you only have three pans to clean. JeanG1's idea of making a hearty soup from this is such a clever idea.
This is a make on the weekend or on an evening when you don't mind spending an hour or so cooking kind of recipe, but oh so worth it. My whole family absolutely loved it. I had planned to serve it with green beans, but made asparagus instead, and they paired nicely together. Looking forward to making this again.
This was INCREDIBLE! I used some really great Nueske smoked bacon and both the aroma and taste of this dish was fantastic----with a salad and some nice crusty bread it makes a wonderful dinner----definitely comfort food. Perfect dish to take a sick friend and adaptable to a slow-cooker. By substituting something like Cup-for-Cup for the 1/3 c. flour it would be gluten-free as well. With shredded chicken and doubling the chicken stock it would also make a wonderful winter soup. Definitely a keeper recipe.
Glad I read the other comment about this NOT being a one skillet meal! But, I'd already gotten all the ingredients before reading them. Harder than what I usually fix ... and lots of dirty prep dishes.... BUT I'll fix it again!!! This is such a great recipe ~ thanks!
Made this last night, it was amazing. I would like to point out though that it is very misleading to call this a one skillet meal - you need several - one for making the sauce, a pot for boiling the rice, the main skillet, a dish to put the chicken on and a bowl to hold the veggies while you brown the chicken - it involves a lot of pots and pans and dishes and takes about 2 hours from start to finish. If you don't mind the time and the dirty dishes though, it is well worth it. Will make again.
Agree with everyone - this is a fair amount of work but absolutely delicious. I had WAY too much sauce for the rice - so saved some and served it on the side - which worked really well. Also, for the cook times here you need THICK chicken breasts. I over cooked mine slightly, and wish I started taking their temperature at around 20 mins in the oven. (Keep a mind they'll cook a little more while resting if you use a cast iron skillet). I made the sauce as written and decided it needed a little more flavor. I added some sherry, dijon and tobasco (really think the tobasco made it). Happy I made these modifications.
I have had this recipe saved for awhile and finally made it. It is a fair amount of work but the steps are simple. I wouldn't change a thing. Cast iron is a must. We are southern though--my husband couldn't stop eating and even continued eating out of the pan. Wonderful flavor. I would make this for company!
I thought from the ingredients and reviews that this would be good but I won't make it again. Twice as much rice and sauce as needed... and the sauce was too soupy. The flavor had potential but was missing something.
This dish's flavor was amazing. Preparation takes too long for it to be a weeknight meal and it's not quite company fare, but for a quiet evening at home this recipe jazzes up a comfort food recipe in a delicious, new way. My husband stood at the stove, helping himself to extra "nibbles" before packaging up the leftovers.
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