A lightened up version of the 1950s classic, this Chicken Rice Casserole is a comforting dish that is sure to become a family favorite.
The term casserole comes from the French word casse, meaning case, which can be used to refer to large, deep dish that doubles as a baking dish and serving vessel. While the term casserole has a long history abroad, the casserole that comes to mind for most Americans is a product of the 1900s. These dishes were an economical meal that became popular during the Great Depression and exploded in popularity in the 1950s.
You know the type, one-dish meals consisting of meat, chopped veggies and a starch (rice and pasta being the most common). The liquids released from the meat and vegetables during cooking and the liquid added to the dish in the form of stock, wine, milk, or creamy sauces) help the flavors come together into one bubbling dish of comfort.
But, probably the most classic ingredient in these dishes is the condensed soup. It seems like every casserole recipe we’ve come across calls for you to pop open a can of gelatinous Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Chicken Soup.
While those cans are easy, they don’t quite make our list of favorite ingredients to cook with. So, for this casserole we made our own version of cream of mushroom soup to bring the casserole elements together and give the dish its creamy texture.
Making a creamy ‘soup’ sauce just involves sauteing your veggies in butter, mixing in some flour, and slowly pouring in the milk. As the milk simmers, the fat and flour cause it to thicken, creating a flavorful, creamy sauce that is made with real ingredients and seasoned just the way you like it.
- 1 ¾ c water
- 1 c brown rice, dry
- 1 lb broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp butter, divided
- 2 chicken breasts, cut in half (roughly 1 lb)
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 4 oz button mushrooms, minced
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 ½ c skim milk
- 2 tsp parsley, dry
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper, ground
- Preheat your oven to 375F.
- In a large (2 quart) saucepan, combine water and rice. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered for 10 min.
- After 10 min, add broccoli to the top of the cooking rice. Cover and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside.
- While the rice is cooking, heat 1 tsp butter in a 9 inch skillet. Add chicken breast halves and brown over medium heat until golden, 5-7 minutes per side. (The chicken will not necessarily be cooked through.) Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Melt 1 Tbsp of butter in the saute pan. Add minced onions and saute over medium heat until golden, 5 min. Add the mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms begin to soften, 3 min.
- Add the flour to the vegetables and mix until it is well moistened. Slowly, add the milk to the vegetable mixture, mixing as you add so that the sauce stays smooth and starts to simmer. Mix in the seasonings. Simmer, stirring constantly until the sauce has thickened, 5-7 min. Remove the sauce from the heat.
- Add the mushroom sauce to the broccoli and rice mixture. Mix well to combine. Spoon the mixture into a greased 8x8 (or 2 quart) baking dish. Nestle the browned chicken into the rice mixture.*
- Place the dish into the oven and bake for 20 min, until the dish is bubbly all over.
- Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
This week, the Sunday Supper crew is having a Retro Party and bringing back their favorite dishes from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Check out the throwback favorites below! Thanks to Heather from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks for hosting this week’s event!
Bodacious Breakfasts and Appetizers:
- Classic Chex Party Mix from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Healthy Green Goddess Dip from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Homemade Doughnuts from Cosmopolitan Cornbread
Made in the Shade Main Dishes:
- Bacon Wrapped Individual Meatloaf from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Chicken ala King from Recipes Food and Cooking
- Chicken Rice Casserole from Curious Cuisiniere
- Chicken in a Basket from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Chicken Parisienne from Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen
- Chicken Pot Pie from Whole Food | Real Families
- Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast from FoodieTots
- Creamy Baked Pork Chops from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Mom’s Chicken Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuits from Simply Healthy Family
- Mom’s Shepherd’s Pie from Momma’s Meals
- Ravioli di Magro from Manu’s Menu
- Salisbury Steak with Onion Gravy from Webicurean
- Sweet and Sour Pork Meatballs from Palatable Pastime
- Tuna Noodle Casserole from Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Uptown Goulash from Family Foodie
Swell Side Dishes:
- Creamy Lime Gelatin Salad from Magnolia Days
- Harvard Beets from Take A Bite Out Of Boca
- Retro Crock Pot Crabby Soup from Seduction in the Kitchen
- Roasted Broccoli Cheese Casserole from NeighborFood
- Seven Layer Salad from Lifestyle Food Artistry
- Wedge Salad from Our Good Life
- Bananas Foster from The Redhead Baker
- Creamsicle Jello Mold from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Frosty Chocolate Dream Bites from Wallflour Girl
- Hummingbird Cream Cheese Cookies from Dandelion Greens
- Jello Poke Cake from The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Mom’s Heath Bar Cake from Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Old Fashioned Banana Pudding from Pies and Plots
- One, Two, Three Jello from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Original Mayonnaise Chocolate Cake with No Cook Fudge Frosting from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake from Eat, Drink and be Tracy
- Raspberry Crunch from Peaceful Cooking
- Tunnel of Fudge Cake from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
The Bee’s Knees Beverages:
- Blood Orange Sidecar from Nosh My Way
- Crème de Menthe Parfait from Food Lust People Love
- Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned from The Texan New Yorker
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