m. c. de marco: The New Kitchen Cookbook

Chicken and Wild Rice for a Crowd

I’m always on the lookout for big chicken dishes for a passover seder crowd, so I searched for baked chicken and wild rice recipes. Most of them included cheese for some reason, but the seasoned mom’s was at least light on the cheese factor. I’ve scaled it up; the recipe included advice for scaling it down as well. Note that the large quantity of chicken reduces the need for liquid.


  • about 10 lbs. small chicken pieces (legs, thighs, etc.)
  • 2 c. wild rice or more
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes or carrots
  • 7 stalks celery
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • water or broth (about 2 times the volume of wild rice)
  • 2 or more yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 1 head garlic, crushed or minced (optional)
  • 2 ¼ c. (12 oz.) golden raisins or craisins
  • 2 T. thyme
  • 2 T. rosemary
  • 1 T. sage
  • fresh herbs, optional

A steam table tray is about the right size for the layer of chicken. You don’t need that much depth, though.


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Prep vegetables.
  3. Optionally, fry onions, garlic, and celery (in a reasonable order) on the stovetop. Use the pan to mix the remaining non-chicken ingredients.
  4. Put all ingredients except chicken into a large baking pan, mix well, and spread evenly.
  5. Salt and pepper chicken pieces to taste.
  6. Arrange chicken skin side up on top of the rice mixture and cover pan.
  7. Bake one hour or until chicken and wild rice are mostly cooked. Check on water/broth level partway through and add more liquid if necessary.
  8. Uncover pan at 45 minutes or so to crisp the chicken, under the broiler if you’re in a rush. Re-cover for transport and/or reheating.
  9. Optionally top with fresh herbs.


The original recipe also included mushrooms and pecans. Wild rice has a pretty nutty flavor and there’s always some nut allergy concern in a crowd, so I left out the nuts. I would have liked to try the mushrooms, though.

Often these recipes involve a mix of brown and wild rice. (The original used a commercial mix.) I mixed in more (leftover) cooked wild rice during the crisping step the first time I made this. You could also pilaf something that can’t take the entire cooking time (like white rice) the same way, but it is difficult to mix after cooking.

It’s always fun to mix red lentils into a rice dish because they dissolve but make a nice sauce (warning: kitniyot).