In honor of Paula Deen, who never made it down to the Q.C. for her Celebrity Chef Series shows that were scheduled at Oven's Auditorium this past Saturday, I've made her top recipe on her Food Network recipe web page. Listed as No. 1 in a collection of 100 "Top Recipes" by Paula Deen, is her Chicken and Rice Casserole.
This recipe has "Paula Deen" stamped all over it because:
1. It's a casserole.
2. It contains at least one white and creamy ingredient. In this case, cream of celery and mayo.
3. The ingredient list calls for items in units of "cans."
4. It calls for cheese.
The only thing missing is the butter. The casserole is easy to assemble – just have a can opener handy. Wink.
Well, despite my kidding about her less-refined dishes, I love myself some Paula. She's always jolly, cooks with her bling on, and throws caution to the wind when it comes to using butter and whipped cream.
This comforting casserole makes enough to feed a family of 6 and would make for an easy weekday meal. I don't know if it really qualifies for the No. 1 spot on her recipe web page, but it's pretty darn delicious. On a cold rainy day, it really doesn't get any better than a big heaping portion of this warm and creamy chicken and rice casserole.
Chicken and Rice Casserole
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
2 (14 1/2-ounce) can green beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups diced cooked chicken
1 medium onion, diced and sauteed
1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 (4-ounce) can pimentos, drained
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (6-ounce) box long-grain and wild rice, cooked according to package directions
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased 3-quart casserole dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly.