It was sunny and about 50 degrees today in Fort Wayne. I think I can see spring! I only hope this weather sticks around for a while. I’m always happy to say goodbye to winter. Buh bye! Au revoir! Hosta la vista baby! Hit the road Jack! All the gray days, cold, snow and ice…UGH! I miss my flip-flops.
This is my green-eyed Irish guy’s favorite dinner. In fact, it’s what he asks for on his birthday. It’s a stick to your ribs, family type casserole, quick and easy enough to make any night of the week. You can add your favorite cooked vegetable to this such as peas or broccoli. I don’t because my husband doesn’t do vegetables. The only one he likes is corn. He tolerates green beans. He’ll eat cooked carrots but only in some type of soup or stew. Side note: You can’t see the corning ware casserole dish but it’s the orange-flowered pattern. I’ve had it for at least 30 years. Yeah, it’s an oldie, but a goodie.
Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole
3 cups cooked rice
1 pound cooked chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 10 1/2 oz. can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pepper
Cook rice according to package directions for 4 servings which is usually 1 cup rice, 2 cups water (I use chicken broth instead), 1 Tbs. butter and 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring rice to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. To cook my chicken I either cut into bite sized pieces, season with salt and pepper and saute in a tablespoon or two of olive oil until cooked through or salt and pepper chicken, drizzle with olive oil and roast on a foil lined baking sheet for 20 minutes on 400 degrees (alternately you can make a foil pouch to cook the chicken in as well). Let cool enough to touch. Cut into bite sized pieces. Don’t discard your juices from the chicken. You’ll add that to the casserole. Extra chicken flavor.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add soup, milk, salt and pepper and stir well. You want to get the big lumps out of the soup. Add chicken, chicken juices, rice and cheese. Mix until well combined. This needs to look a little too moist. The rice absorbs a lot of liquid even though it’s already been cooked. Bake for 40 minutes until thick and bubbly. This will be REALLY hot when you take it out of the oven so let stand for 5-10 minutes so you don’t burn the taste buds out of your mouth. Sit down at the table with the family, talk about your day and enjoy this dinner together.
Wishing you love, laughter and cake,