chicken

Not your mother’s casserole – wild rice, chicken and mushrooms.

california wild rice -photo from california wild rice websiteThis is the wonderful chicken and rice dish that our hostess made for the Spring Fling lunch. The original recipe calls for leftover turkey and I am definitely keeping it on file for Thanksgiving leftovers.

I am making this today and will put up the recipe now. I will let you know if it came out as well as the original!

Many thanks, lovely hostess!

Wild Rice Casserole – (Chicken) Leftover Turkey

Feed 16 easily – we are having 8 people for dinner so I can easily cut this recipe in half.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups wild rice
  • 2 lbs. sliced mushrooms
  • 4 cups of sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 6 cups cooked chicken (your choice of parts)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (if any nut allergies, just leave this out)
  • 6 cans chicken broth (I use boxed broth – I think three are comparable to 6 cans – will confirm)
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream

Wash rice thoroughly and cover with water, bring to a boil and remove from heat and let soak for 1 hour. Drain. (I did this last night and put the rice in a covered container)

Saute mushrooms and onions in 1/2 cup of butter until brown. Add the chicken, almonds and broth (not all, save out a can) and cream. Mix lightly and turn into two 2-quart casserole dishes.

Dot each casserole with 2 tablespoons of butter and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. (You can use one larger dish but this will add to the cooking time).

You can freeze these to be cooked later, chill the casseroles in the fridge, then wrap, seal and  freeze. When ready to cook, place covered casseroles – unthawed – in a 300 degree oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. Take off foil and raise the heat to 350 degrees (now dot with the 2 TB. of butter) and bake for 1 hour more.

Enjoy!

Spring Fling sprung even on such a cold, gray day with a lovely thank you lunch

volunteers with pre-auction baskets for newton Free Library Spring Fling fundraiserWe gathered at lovely artist friend’s home (so, so, so beautiful that it defies description except to say it is a perfect, perfect house) today to lunch and chat about the Spring Fling. I was (characteristically) late but (uncharacteristically) really late…on the upside, my hair looked really, really good (it only looks this nice when I have been to the salon and that was way past due).  So although I missed most of the lunch due to Boston streets tied up with pre-Marathon traffic, my lovely friend made me up a plate and I caught a few  minutes of the dessert and got the recipe for the chicken and wild rice that was incredible and just right for a raw, gray day. The fundraiser was a great success – we are sending out thank you notes – and it is put together by a few very trusty library employees, the Trustees of the Library and the sweetest volunteer committee ever.

Thank you to all who attended, helped and donated. It was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to working with this lovely group of women again next year.

Yet another easy dinner from Real Simple

Okay, the first Real Simple recipe was okay but this one was wonderful.  Turkey cutlets and green bean salad.  I adjusted the salad to exclude some non-favorite items such as tomatoes and olives but I think it would be lovely with – I used orange bell pepper and it was nice.

I’ve made chicken cutlets this way but the turkey was a nice change. Verdict: All in favor and want the leftovers with what is now known as simple tomato sauce (from http://www.smittenkitchen.com)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb green beans, trimmed and washed
  • 1 lb grape tomatoes, halved (I used orange bell pepper)
  • 1/2 pitted kalamata olives, quartered (you could also use hearts of palm here)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and lemon wedges for serving (it was lemony enough without extra)
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil (I  used more as needed)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 thin turkey cutlets – about 1 lb. (I used 2 lbs – and had leftovers – glad I did)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (1/2 cup)
  • 2 large eggs – beaten (add 2 more eggs)
  • 2/3 cup bread crumbs (I did not measure – just used all I had on hand – probably 1 cup plus a bit)

Directions:

In a large saucepan with a steamer basket, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Place beans in basket, cover and steam until tender – about 4 to 5 minutes. Rinse beans under cold water to cool.

Toss the beans with veggies of choice, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil. 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a large bowl.

Season the turkey with salt and pepper (calls for 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper – I used less). Dredge cutlets in flour and then dip into egg, let the excess drip off.  Coat with breadcrumbs.  Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat (if making more, add the additional oil later) and place cutlets in pan. Cook until golden and cooked through (2-3 minutes per side). I put everything in a 350 degree oven because I wanted to hold them a bit and I am always concerned about undercooked poultry.

Serve with green bean salad and side green salad. A crusty bread if you are adding carbs or some cous cous or quinoa (good protein)would add nicely to the dinner.

 Thank you folks at http://www.realsimple.com All in all a fast (under 30 minutes) and lovely meal.

Cooked – in a good way

Friends have a way of keeping you connected and grounded.  They can also teach you a great deal.  This week I learned how to make a delicious rémoulade, baked rice and that stuffing garlic butter and herbs under chicken skin isn’t so gross if you do it with a friend.  I co-hosted a PTO progressive dinner (not here – thank you, R & G) and spent a day prepping dinner, running errands and ironing table linens. My co-host (and an amazing cook) did that and much more.  I will post the full recipes under the recipe page. All wonderful.

My favorite part of the day was, well, all of it. Prep-work flies by when chatting with friends and adding special ingredients and fielding  a flurry of calls for add-on items while shopping keeps things interesting.  The connections are wonderful: a local florist, the fabulously organized friend (and the point person for last night) who delivered gift bags to the hosts on her bike, and the other interesting parents we got to meet and re-connect with last night.  There was a nice balance of quiet and busy time, I ironed while watching an old movie with my children and later our children and a family friend helped serve the dinner and clean up.

Connecting with the school community is more of a challenge when middle school years start.  There are no hallway conversations at drop-off, pick-up or on the playground so you have to make more of an effort to connect with other parents and the school community. Not to worry!  There are always plenty of volunteer opportunities, both large and small.  Help with a teacher appreciation lunch or Principal’s coffee.  Heck, if you have more time – volunteer more!

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