Chicken and Wild Rice BakeThis recipe is based on one that I found in my mom’s yellow, weathered, Pillsbury Family Cookbook, circa 1972. LOVE that cookbook! You can still find them on eBay. I bought my sisters each one, so that the family copy could be mine. The original recipe called for cornish game hens and a packaged wild rice mix, but I’ve adapted it to use chicken breasts as well as regular rice and spices. I’ve given directions for preparing this as a freezer meal at the bottom. Having all the components ready in the freezer is so nice!
What is wild rice?Wild rice isn’t really a rice. It’s a long-grain marsh grass that originally grew near the Great Lakes. It’s now grown commercially in California and in some Midwest states. It takes a bit longer to cook than regular rice.
Can you bake rice?Rice bakes up beautifully, with chicken and without. Check out how to bake perfect rice here.
Can I use other chicken pieces in this Chicken and Wild Rice Bake?As I mentioned, I adapted this from a recipe that called for Cornish game hens, a miniature chicken. You can use any bone-in chicken pieces you like in this recipe. Since commercial chicken breasts are so large these days, I recommend cutting them in half for serving.
Can I use brown rice?You can use brown or white rice in this recipe. I’ve tested it with both. If you use white rice, know that it will have a soft texture once finished.
Can I put uncooked rice in a casserole?Rice will cook in a casserole if there is enough liquid. If you’re experimenting with a casserole recipe, you’ll need to account for enough liquid to cook the rice (about 2x liquid for each amount of rice) and enough “sauce” to keep your casserole from getting dry. One of our favorite rice casseroles is this Chicken and Wild Rice Bake.
Can I freeze this Chicken and Wild Rice Bake?While this recipe won’t do well freezing after baking, you can definitely make it as a “freezer kit”.
- Assemble the chicken and marinade in a ziptop freezer bag.
- Combine the rices and spices in a second bag.
- Lay out the onion, celery and mushrooms in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Flash freeze. Place the frozen vegetables in a third bag.
- Place all bags together in a larger bag, labelled Chicken and Wild Rice Bake. Be sure to include baking instructions. Freeze.
- Thaw chicken before baking. Bake as directed.
How to make this good and cheap:
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. For instance, when I see a great price on chicken breast, I’ll buy several packages and plan my meals around them.
- Use a whole chicken! Cooking a whole chicken (or buying one that Costco roasted for you) can be more economical than buying chicken pieces. Plus, you can use the carcass to make homemade stock.
How I make this recipe easy:Having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs. Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:
- 9×13 Pyrex pan
- Ergo Chef chef’s knife
- glass measuring cup
- plastic cutting boards
- heavy-duty aluminum foil
If you prepare this recipe, be sure to share a picture on social media and hashtag it #GOODCHEAPEATS. I can't wait to see what you cook up!
This post was originally published on February 26, 2010. It has been updated for content and clarity.
Chicken and Wild Rice Bake
Dinner comes together quickly and easily with this one-dish dinner of chicken, vegetables, and rice. Your family will gobble down this Chicken and Wild Rice Bake.
- 8 bone-in chicken pieces can also use 4 bone-in-chicken breasts
- 1 batch Herbed Vinaigrette or ½ cup your favorite oil and vinegar dressing
- 2 cup long grain white rice uncooked
- 2 tablespoon wild rice
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ onion (for ½ cup chopped)
- 1 rib celery chopped (optional)
- ½ cup mushrooms (chopped) optional
- 4 cup chicken stock water, or a combination
- Combine the chicken pieces and vinaigrette in a large ziptop bag. Seal and massage the bag and place it on a tray. Refrigerate and allow the chicken to marinade 30 minutes to several hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine the rices, thyme, pepper, onion, celery and mushrooms in the pan. Stir in the broth.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and place them atop the rice mixture.
- Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1 hour.
- Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until the rice absorbs the liquid and chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. If using chicken breasts, cut each one in half prior to serving.
- Serve the chicken alongside the rice.
To prepare this as a freezer meal: Combine chicken breasts and vinaigrette in bag. Label. Combine rice and spices in a second bag. Label. Lay out onion, celery and mushrooms in a single layer on a baking sheet. Flash freeze. Place vegetables in a third bag and make sure to label them. Place all bags together in a larger bag, labelled Chicken and Wild Rice Bake. Be sure to include baking instructions. Freeze. Thaw chicken before baking. Bake as directed above. Promptly store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days. Nutritional values are approximate and based on 1 piece of chicken and ⅛ of the rice mixture.
Calories: 406kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 501mg | Potassium: 475mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 133IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg