Casserole! That is either a comforting word or a word that brings up memories of church suppers with dishes all made with cream of mushroom soup. I am not opposed to canned items like tomatoes, chilies, beans… but I avoid at all costs the cream of ______ soup cans. They are just gross to me, but I do love a lot of the dishes that are made with those cans of cream of ______ soup. So, I decided to come up with a recipe for a classic Chicken and Rice Casserole that does not use those icky soups.
This recipe is one of those that you can make in advance and either keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days until you are ready to bake it or you can keep it in the freezer for up to a month. If you do decide to freeze it I suggest lining the dish with foil then transferring the uncooked mixture (this recipe uses cooked chicken so it safe to freeze) to the foil lined casserole dish then freezing the entire casserole. Once it is frozen you can pop the frozen casserole out of the dish and wrap in plastic and keep frozen until ready to eat. This way your dish is not held hostage in the freezer for a month. When you are ready to eat place it back into the dish you froze it in and let thaw over night in the fridge. Then bake according to directions.
But, if you are like me and generally do not prepare that far in advance this recipe is quickly pulled together on a busy night. Serve with a side salad and viola dinner is served!
Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole
An easy comforting casserole that the whole family will love!
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 cups steamed brown rice
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cook rice according to package directions. I like to use the boil in bag or frozen rice from Trader Joes.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes-do not burn the garlic.
Whisk in flour and thyme. All the flour to mix with the butter and form a roux. Cook for about 3 minutes.
Whisk in wine and allow to cook off the alcohol for about 3 minutes. Then whisk in chicken stock. Bring mixture to a boil and allow to thicken.
Stir in cheese and allow to melt and form a cheese sauce.
Stir in cooked rice and chicken.
Transfer mixture to a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Top with additional cheese if desired.
Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes until bubbly.
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