CHEESY CHICKEN AND RICE CASSEROLE
I love casseroles during winter. They’re warming, filling, and warm. This week, I made my very favorite Broccoli Cheddar Casserole and increased the amount by a little. …Er, I chickened it up a little. I added some additional vegetables and a few juicy pieces of chicken that turned it into an entire dinner. This Cheesy Chicken Rice and Vegetable Casserole is everything creamy comfort food you’ll need to survive winter. #thestruggleisreal
DAY OLD RICE WORKS BEST
As with cooked rice, chilled or day-old rice is ideal for making this recipe as it’s more firm, which enables it to blend well with other components without becoming soft. This Cheesy Chicken vegetable and rice Casserole is great for using leftover rice or if you prefer to make large quantities of rice and then freeze them.
A final note. If you’re looking for something cheesy but not overly cheesy, you can skip the cheese layer on the top and bake it as is (covered by foil) or sprinkle it with bread crumbs that have been toasted to make a nutty topping. You can make this with brown rice. This.
1/2 lb of frozen broccoli leaves ($0.85)
One skinless, boneless chicken breast (about 2/3 1 lb.) ($1.26)
1 Tbsp New Windowolive oil ($0.16)
A pinch of salt and pepper ($0.05)
One yellow onion ($0.32)
2. 2 carrots ($0.33)
4 cups cooked long-grain rice ($0.75)
3TBS of butter ($0.40)
Three tablespoons flour ($0.02)
1 cup chicken broth* ($0.13)
1 cup of whole milk ($0.38)
1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
1/4 teaspoon 1 tsp smoked paprika($0.02)
A New WindowFreshly cracked pepper($0.05)
8 oz medium cheese chopped ($2.00)
Remove the broccoli from the freezer and let it begin to defrost. When it’s soft enough to cut with a knife, cut the florets into smaller pieces, smaller bite-sized pieces.
Cut the chicken breast into tiny half-inch cubes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. A large skillet is heated to medium. Add the olive oil and swirl it around to cover the surface. Cook the pieces of chicken until brown on the exterior. Transfer the chicken pieces to a large, clean bowl.
While the chicken cooks, chop the onion finely as well as peel and slice the carrots. Add the onions and carrots to the skillet once the chicken is removed, and cook until the onion is soft. Transfer the carrots and onion into the bowl with the chicken.
Incorporate the chopped broccoli florets (even in the event that they haven’t been fully frozen) as well as the prepared rice into the bowl, along with vegetables, onions, and carrots. Mix to combine, and then add half of the shredded cheddar (about one cup) and mix once more. Put the mix aside.
Start to heat your oven until it reaches 350oF. Spray the inside of the 2-quart casserole dish by spraying it with nonstick. Add the flour and butter to the same pan used for cooking the chicken and other vegetables. Mix the flour and butter over medium heat until they begin to bubble. Continue to stir, and cook for a minute.
Slowly stir the broth of chicken into the mixture of butter and flour. Allow it to heat up to a boil, at when it will begin to become thicker. After it’s thickened, whisk into the milk and let it come back to a spot. Once it’s wide enough to cover a spoon and serve, sprinkle with freshly crushed pepper and salt.
Serve the dish of sauce on top of the rice mix in the bowl. Stir until the rice is well-combined and coated with sauce. Transfer the mixture to the plate for casserole. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the word.
Bake the casserole covered for approximately 35 minutes or so until golden brown on the edges. Serve hot.