Chicken, Broccoli, Rice Casserole
As I mentioned in my last post, I have been a bit under the weather as of late. I’m not sure if this happens to everyone (though I suspect it happens to most), but when I’m sick, I crave the foods of my childhood. There’s just something about mom’s cooking that is so comforting, right? Well, this is a family favorite and also proof that I will never ever be a true foodie (you’ll understand what I mean once you read the ingredient list). In fact, I think my brother’s favorite part of Thanksgiving is that my mom uses the leftover turkey to make this casserole the next day.
Even though I’m not really supposed to be up and about, I hit the wall today as far as sitting still and doing nothing goes; I was really craving this casserole and decided a few minutes shuffling around the kitchen would be good for my mental health if nothing else. (But let’s just keep that between us, OK? I don’t want my mom or doctor finding out about my lack of compliance.) Since Ryan also adores this dish, and started eating broccoli because of it, he was quick to let me take over dinner duty for the night, and while I think I may have overdone it activity wise, this definitely hit the spot.
I absolutely love the crunchy topping and creamy, cheesy casserole underneath. The original recipe came to me with very few actual quantities written in, so I’ve kind of made it up as I go along and changed the ratios a bit each time dependent on what I have on hand. I’ve also taken the liberty of adding some seasonings that I think complement the cheese very well, but feel free to play with the recipe to your tastes. I did not calculate the POINTS or calorie count for this recipe because, let’s be honest, I know it’s nowhere near healthy. There are ways you could lighten it such as using reduced fat items as available or skipping the crunchy topping, but I try to stay authentic to my childhood memory of my mom’s cooking and just consider this an infrequent splurge.
Chicken, Broccoli, Rice Casserole
1 15 ounce jar of processed cheese sauce (such as Cheez Whiz)
1 11 ounce can of 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
1 stick butter
11 ounces water (fill empty soup can once)
2 teaspoons grainy dijon mustard
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups instant brown rice, uncooked
12 ounces broccoli florets, frozen or fresh, torn into small pieces
8 ounces shredded chicken or turkey
1 3 ounce can of fried onions
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350.
Place stick of butter, cheese sauce, and cream of mushroom soup in 9X13 glass baking pan. Set in preheated oven until softened, about five minutes.
Remove pan from oven, add 11 ounces of water, and stir until all ingredients are well-combined. Add mustard and seasonings; mix well. Stir in rice, shredded chicken, and broccoli florets. Return pan to oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix fried onions with shredded cheese.
After casserole has baked for 30 minutes, remove pan from the oven. Sprinkle the onion and cheese mixture over the top of the casserole. Return pan to oven, and bake until it begins to brown and bubble around the edges, about 15 minutes. You may turn the oven to broil for the last minute or so for a browner topping.
After baking, let sit for about five minutes before serving.