Turkey Rice Casserole
1/2 cup (about 4 ounce) slivered almonds
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup long-grain white rice
1/4 cup turkey fat, butter or margarine
1 rib celery
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup turkey broth or chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
3 to 4 cups cubed cooked turkey or chicken
4 ounces chopped pimento
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Put the almonds in a toaster oven or regular oven and bake at 350 degrees F
until they are golden brown (about 10 minutes). Butter a casserole dish (such as
an 8-8-inch square baking pan).
Put 2 cups of water on to boil with 1 teaspoon salt. When it boils, add rice,
cover, reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let sit
for 20 minutes.
Melt fat in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Chop celery into small dice.
Add to the fat along with the mushrooms. Increase heat to high and cook,
stirring occasionally, until mushrooms begin to brown and all the liquid they
give up has evaporated. Shake flour over skillet and stir to blend as evenly as
possible with the vegetables. Add the broth in a slow stream. The flour will
seize into a tight mass but keep adding liquid and stirring; it should relax.
Add the milk, tarragon, turkey, pimento and pepper. Stir until the mixture
boils, then remove from heat.
Combine with rice in the prepared casserole, sprinkle with almonds and bake 15
minutes, or until heated through. You may add cheese and/or breadcrumbs to the
almond topping if desired.
Serves 4 to 6.