Friday, March 20, 2015

Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole

Time for a revamp on a classic recipe!

I'm pretty sure it's a requirement as a cook/chef to have your very own recipe for Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole. It's a classic for a reason. Those flavors that always seem to gel perfectly together. Crunchy, crisp broccoli. Creamy rice. Savory chicken. All married together with cheesy, savory sauce. Ooh child, it doesn't get much better than this. 

It's almost a requirement that American children eat this casserole growing up, I think it could be one of the most popular casseroles in America. Next to the ever-popular lasagna, of course. In fact, go ahead and Google "Most Popular American Casserole". The casseroles you'll see under that search term will be different variations of tuna casserole, baked ziti, enchiladas, and of course, cheesy chicken and rice casseroles. What's funny about that is this wasn't a recipe that I grew up on. I'm pretty sure my first Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole was from Costco. I remember my family being pretty fond of that casserole from Costco, especially my brother. It was one of his favorites. I never liked it. I thought I didn't like Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole period.

Silly Jessica, don't you know you just have to find the right recipe?

And find the right recipe I did! I posted a recipe I adapted from Pinch of Yum last week (on Friday, actually), and here I am posting another one this Friday. What can I say? I heart Pinch of Yum :)

You might be saying to yourself, "If you love Pinch of Yum so much, why did you adapt the recipe? Why not follow as is?" Well friends, Lindsay's original recipe calls for quinoa. And there ain't no way I'm getting the hubby to eat quinoa. I served him Fettuccine Alfredo made with multi-grain noodles last night, and he wasn't even pleased about that. Lol. The original recipe also called for raw chicken to be cooked with the casserole, while I had leftover rotisserie chicken. Soooooo.....


This turned out phenomenally. Perfect for throwing together with leftover rice and chicken. I followed the recipe by baking the rice in the oven, but like I said, you could adapt this to use leftover rice. Just omit the initial baking time, and plan on a short baking time after you mix all the ingredients together. Which is one of the best things about this casserole- it comes together quickly and bakes quickly. Perfect for a busy weeknight.

Does anyone have awesome plans for the weekend? I think it's going to be quiet around here, we have no plans thus far. I hear the weather should be mild, and my physical therapist has asked me to try running again. We are getting to the point where he wants to discharge me, so he's asking me to try things I've been resting from. Like running. And vacuuming. So, we'll see how it goes!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Ingredients (serves 4):

4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp flour
3-4 cups chicken broth (depending on how thick you like your sauce)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded, divided (You may have to adjust the cheese level if you add more chicken broth to your sauce)
1 cup rice, uncooked
3 cups broccoli florets
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
3 tbsp panko


1. Preheat oven to 400º and coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. 
2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add flour, cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth in slow additions, 3-4. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup cheese, stirring constantly until cheese melts. Stir in rice. Move rice mixture into prepared baking pan, add 1 cup water, stir, and bake for 30 minutes, uncovered. 
3. While the rice is baking, prepare the broccoli. Bring a large pot of water to boil. When boiling, add broccoli. Cook for 1 minute, or until broccoli is bright green. Immediately place broccoli in a bowl of ice water, and swish around. This will ensure the broccoli keeps its bright green color and make it tender. 
4. When rice is done, stir broccoli and chicken into the baking dish. Add a little water if you need to thin the casserole. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and panko. Bake in preheated oven 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Turn the oven off, and turn the broiler on. Leave casserole under broiler 1-2 minutes, or until panko is browned. Remove from oven, and allow to cool on the counter for 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately. 

Recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum.
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  1. Yep, you're right. Classic for a reason. No fun plans this weekend, unless you count taste testing martinis :)

    1. Oooh, I bet that was fun! I'm jealous! I hope to see some martini recipes on your blog soon! :)

  2. I'm seriously considering making a Jessica Jarrel board, since I pin your recipes all the time LOL

    This weekend we're working on the backyard. It's not pretty out there....


    1. A Jessica Jarrell board! I love it! :)

      I hear ya on the back yard. Our front 1-acre is out-of-control! Not sure when we're going to get to it, LOL.


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