Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Cheesy chickenI know, I know, Chicken and Rice, really dude? Bear with me, mi amigos. Here I was sitting on the couch thinking about what terribly fancy thing to “more accessible” for my readers when I realized I didn’t want something fancy. I wanted comfort food. Even the most gourmet loving yuppie wants a good old casserole sometimes.

Being known for great casseroles is a sure fire way to get invited to the next group gathering. They are a crowd pleasing, and equally easy to make.

Even if you aren’t making a dish to take to a party, casseroles are a great dinner option. My wife loves when I make casseroles because she gets to take real food to work for the next two days instead of a frozen dinner. Having some tasty casserole dishes in your back pocket will save you the trouble of cooking for two hours after a long day’s work. I sure don’t want to cook Pan Seared Swordfish with a Pineapple Chutney and a Mint Glaze after I’ve been on my feet all day.

The whole point of this blog is to help you make food you actually want to make, so let’s dive right in.

This recipe is a chance to reuse left over rice and/or chicken from the previous night.

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Tools
-9″x13″Casserole Dish (there abouts)-Small Stock Pot
-Mixing Bowl
-Mix’n Chop (A favorite tool from Pampered Chef, optional)
-Knife
-Cutting Board (If you don’t have Mix’n Chop)
-Rice Cooker or Pot

Ingredients
-2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, boiled
-3 cups of cooked rice
-1 Steam Package of Frozen Peas and Carrots
-2 cans of cream of chicken condensed soup
-1 can of milk (used condensed soup can)
-1 medium yellow onion diced (or 1 Tbsp onion powder)
-1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tbsp salt
-black pepper, to taste

Procedure
-Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.
-Dice boiled chicken *pro tip: when boiling chicken add 1 tbsp of salt*
-Microwave steamer package of vegetables according to package
-Combine soup and milk together in mixing bowl
-Combine chicken, soup mixture, rice, veggies, 1 1/2 cups of cheddar, and seasonings in mixing bowl. Mix well
-Pour into casserole dish
-Top with remaining cheddar cheese and crushed Ritz crackers
-Bake at 375 degrees for twenty minutes or until cooking thermometer reaches 145 degrees
-Remove from oven.

Grab your drink of choice and dig in. I chose Shiner Bock because it pairs well with everything.

Leave me a comment to let me know how this recipe worked for you or if you made any awesome tweaks.

For the Love of Food

I love food. I love cooking, eating, and drinking! What I love most about the culinary arts is sharing the experience with friends, family, and, now, with you. There is nothing better than seeing people enjoying the food I have created.  I want my readers to be able to have that experience as well.

The problem with fine dining is the cost. It is so far out of most people’s price range to eat all the time. A great culinary experience doesn’t have to be unreachable, hence the blog. You can make great food on your own without blowing your budget to hell. The names of your creations will just become less and less classy. Instead of bacon and cheese Bechamel over fresh cut fries you get the equally tasty Road Kill Fries. Or you call them Loaded Fries if the thought of dead possums makes you squeamish. There are tricks and substitutions that can take a recipe from an hour and a half to 15 minutes. And thank the gods for Crock Pots!

You too can be the hit of dinner parties. There is nothing but you standing in your way of being that guy people hope is bringing the main course. Cooking doesn’t have to be hard. It takes practice, dedication, and passion. The rest will fall into place. My wife can’t cook to save her life (don’t tell her I said that), but she can cook the best Thanksgiving dinner you’ll ever have. My woman can mash a potato and mix a stuffing that will make you drool, because Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday. She has put in the practice, and has tons of passions. Now if only I could get her to bake chicken correctly.

Take a few minutes and leave a comment. I want to know what kind of food y’all want to learn how to make. I’ll do what I can to make it easier.

Get a pint of your favorite brew and join me on this culinary adventure. Great food and great beer for all! Let’s rock!