Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole

This recipe fits the saying "necessity is the mother of invention" to a T. Last night I came home to an empty house after a long week of work (can you believe how hard it is to go back to a full week after 2 short weeks in a row?!). It had just started to snow and I was tired, but I was also starving. I was on my own this past week, so I'd just been picking at leftovers or random foods (crackers and cheese for dinner? why not?!). But my body was demanding real sustinence. So, I poked around the cupboards and the fridge and finally came up with an idea for a cheesy chicken and rice dish. I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, but it was actually very tasty, as well as creamy and comforting - exactly what I wanted.
Mr. VW is going to be sad that he missed out on this one... though he'll probably get to try it soon. It's so simple and good, it's likely to become a regular around here. And in case you're wondering why the vegetables get roasted - it's because it brings out their sweetness - especially the carrots. Even if you don't like carrots normally, I bet you'll like them roasted!

Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole
Serves 2

Ingredients
1/2 c. quick-cooking brown rice
1 1/3 c. water
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried chives
1 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. baby carrots, cut in 1/2
1 c. broccoli florets
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
salt & pepper

Method
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a casserole dish, combine rice, water, garlic powder, chives and cream cheese. Mix well.
In a mixing bowl, toss baby carrots and broccoli in 1 tsp. olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking tray in a single layer.
Put both the casserole dish with the rice and the vegetables into the oven. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, stirring vegetables every 5-10 minutes to prevent burning.
Meanwhile, sprinkle cut chicken thighs with tarragon and salt and pepper. Saute in the remaining olive oil until cooked through.
When the 25 minutes are up, remove the vegetables and rice from the oven. If the rice is still firm, cook a few minutes longer. Once it's tender, add the chicken and vegetables to the rice, stir in cheddar cheese and bake for 5 more minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste. Serve & enjoy.

4 comments:

Rita said...

That combination is one of my husband's favourite meals. I do love that you roasted the vegetables and that there is no soup. Will be making this soon.

Facing50Blog.com said...

I came by to say thank you for visitng my blog and commenting and have had to get my pen out - this is perfect for dinner tonight. Grumpy Hubby is sick of my pathetic efforts to produce a decent meal...I think I can manage this so I'd like to officially thank you for probably saving my marriage for at least one more day!
Keep smiling!
Carol

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Now that sounds good! I copied the recipe and handed it over to my wife :-)

Thank you :-)

~Ron

kathryn said...

Oh, God. I can almost smell this. It looks soooo good...and I can totally appreciate this being some serious comfort/winter sustenance.

I hope Mr. VW gets a chance to taste it as well. I'll bet he misses you AND your cooking.