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Chicken and Rice Casserole

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Here’s an old family favourite.  My mom used to make this all the time when I was growing up and now it’s one that my daughter and I like a lot too.  It’s quick and easy to make.

Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (this is our personal preference now but growing up Mom would make it with assorted chicken pieces)

1 can cream of chicken soup (you can use a different cream soup if you’d like but this is the one that produces the taste I like best – cream of celery or cream of mushroom also works well)

1 soup can of water or milk

2 cups uncooked instant rice (like Minute Rice)

*Note: you can also add some seasoning if you’d like.  My mom would often sprinkle some poultry seasoning over this before baking.  I could see other flavours that would be good as well – I like rosemary and basil with chicken, I can see lemon pepper being delicious in this, what else can you think of?

Instructions:  Not much to it.  Simply stir the rice and soup together – I usually hold back a little bit to pour over the chicken as well.  If you find that it’s not mixing terribly easily, add in some of the water if you’d like but I usually wait and just pour the water (or milk) over the rice mixture once I have put it into a casserole dish.  Put the chicken on top of the rice mixture in the casserole dish and bake this in a 325 degree F oven for about 40-45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender.  Your timing will vary a bit based on the thickness of the chicken pieces you are using.  I like to cover the dish for the first half an hour to form a little steam to help the chicken and rice cook and then uncover it so that the chicken pieces brown up a bit.  If the rice starts to dry out before the chicken is done, you can always add some water to the dish.  I saw a similar dish on the Kraft website but they prepared this in a skillet.  They browned the chicken on both sides until cooked through.  Remove the chicken and add the soup and water/milk to the skillet.  Bring to a boil and stir in the rice.  Top with the chicken and cover the skillet.  Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes.  Stir before serving.

Variations:

You can substitute a 16 oz. jar of salsa for the soup and use 1 1/2 cups water or milk.  Cook as directed but near the end of the cooking time, top the chicken with 1 cup of grated cheese.

Substitute 2 cups prepared spaghetti sauce for the soup and use 1 cup water or milk.  Cook as directed but this time, just before serving, sprinkle the casserole with 2 T. grated Parmesan cheese.

Use 3/4 cup of a bottled stir-fry sauce (like teriyaki or honey garlic) for the soup along with 1 cup water or milk.  Stir in about 3 cups of frozen stir fry vegetables with the rice.  Cook as directed.

You can make the casserole as directed but add some vegetables to the dish – for example, a 10 oz. pkg. of frozen spinach, green beans, or peas, or 2 cups broccoli (fresh or frozen).  If using green beans, you might want to top with 1/2 cup of those canned French fried onions just before serving.  If using broccoli, you might want to add some cheese to the recipe – the variation I saw on the Kraft site called for 1/4 lb. of cut up Velveeta but I can’t stand that stuff so I would stir in some grated cheese instead. 

We also used to make this recipe when camping.  It’s a great one to use for a foil packet dinner!  Prepare as instructed but instead of putting in a casserole dish, we would make a packet out of doubled thick aluminum foil to cook it in over the fire.  Yum!

Makes 4 servings – very easy to simply increase the ingredients to make for a larger family

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One response »

  1. Pingback: Menu Plan Monday: January 18-24 « Cyn's View of Reality

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