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jillfiredup | | Feb 11, 2012 10:54 AM

I am adapting a recipe I've tried before - for company. I was hoping to get some advice as to whether or not the flavor profile works. Nod for the original concept goes to a recipe from Chowhound called Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole. This is an adapted version

My questions are:

1) Does the sausage work with the flavor profile (concerned about the sherry and wine) If so,
Sage or Hot breakfast sausage
2) Should I grill the chicken to add smokiness or just bake it?

Chicken, Sausage and Wild Rice Casserole

small container of white mushrooms (fresh)
3/4 cup boiling water
1/3 cup uncooked wild rice
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 lb. Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage (sage or hot???)
3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
1/2 large red onion, small dice
1 large celery stalk, medium dice
1 medium carrot, peeled, medium dice
3/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice
4 ounces toasted sliced almonds
1/3 cup dry white wine
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
2 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half
2 tablespoons dry sherry


Place wild rice in a small saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cover the pan, leaving the lid slightly ajar; reduce heat; and simmer until rice is almost completely cooked, about 18 to 20 minutes. (The rice will be chewy and swollen with a slightly burst-open appearance.) Drain in a colander and set aside.

Cook chicken breast (thought about grilling but wasn't sure). Cut cooked chicken into 1-2 inch pieces. Slice mushrooms and cook in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat until browned. Set all aside.

Brown sausage in large skillet and drain. Set aside.

Using skillet that sausage was cooked in, add butter. When it foams, add the onion and a generous pinch of salt. Stir to coat the onion with butter and cook until the onion has softened a bit, about 2 minutes, then stir in the celery and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly softened but still uncooked in the center, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Stir in the Arborio rice, mixing well with a wooden spoon or spatula to coat each grain with oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the outer layer of the rice becomes translucent and is just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and stir until it evaporates, about 1 minute.

Stir in the cooked wild rice and the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is slightly thickened and the Arborio rice is about 3/4 cooked, about 6 minutes (the mixture will be very soupy). Stir in the thyme, cream, and sherry, then remove from heat. Taste and if necessary season with more salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in chicken, sausage and mushrooms.

Pour the mixture into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Top with toasted almonds.

Bake the casserole until the rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid, about 30 minutes .

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