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.
Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole
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
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.