Poor IBE has not been feeling so hot the past couple of days (his annual cold has arrived with a vengeance – dislike!) and coupled with the fact that he’s been a very good sport about crazy dinners lately (see here, here and here,) I decided to make a warm, comforting, man-meal for dinner to make him feel alllll better.
A comfy-cozy, feeds-a-crowd-and-then-some, Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Rice Casserole!
Without a can of gloopy “cream of XYZ” OR butter, to boot! You didn’t think it could be done, did you?
It can, and I’ll show you how. First cook fluffy brown rice in savory chicken broth then, when the rice has ~7 minutes left to cook, add fresh broccoli and green onions on top to steam.
Next door, sauté chicken breast seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder then, after a quick wipe with a paper towel, use the same skillet to make your own creamy, cheesy casserole sauce!
It’s a cinch to make – I promise. All you do is cook flour and a bit of skim milk in a skillet, then gradually whisk in more milk until the sauce is thick and bubbly.
Stir in cheddar cheese, sour cream and seasonings,
then combine all the goodies together and pour into a casserole dish.
Top with some more cheese (this thing had to cure the common cold, remember) then pop under the broiler until goooolden brown!
Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Rice Casserole
2 cups (uncooked) medium grain brown rice (could use white rice)
3 cups broccoli
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks & seasoned with salt, pepper & garlic powder
5 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 cups skim milk, divided
1/3 cup sour cream
12oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1. Cook rice according to package directions, substituting water for chicken broth. When rice has 5-7 minutes left until fully cooked, add broccoli and green onions into the pot to steam.
2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet sprayed with non-stick spray over medium-high heat and cook seasoned chicken until done. Remove to a plate and carefully wipe out the inside of the skillet with a paper towel.
3. Turn heat down to medium then whisk together flour and 1/2 cup milk in the skillet. Gradually add remaining 1 1/2 cups milk while whisking constantly, until mixture is boiling. Turn off heat and add 8oz shredded cheese and sour cream. Stir until smooth. Season sauce with garlic powder, salt and pepper then mix.
4. Combine cooked rice/broccoli/green onion mixture, chicken and cheese sauce, then stir to combine. Pour mixture into a non-stick sprayed 9×13 casserole dish and top with remaining 4oz of cheese. Broil until cheese is golden brown. Let casserole cool for 5 minutes before serving.
I’ll admit – I made a little mouse hole in the casserole dish while waiting for the corn I served with it to heat up in the microwave. It was so good!!!
Thick and hearty, but somehow light too. Remember, I used brown rice and there’s no extra fat in the sauce besides the cheese. Zip, zilch, nada, people!
Somehow that mouse hole turned into a mouse pit as Ben and I found ourselves nose-to-nose, hunched over the casserole dish after dinner. We couldn’t keep our forks out of there!
I feel like Ben’s feeling a lot better now, and I bet it’s because of warm cheese and rice. Yeah, I’m sure of it. Long live the casserole!
(And breaking my bad dinner streak!)
In other news – you will never guess what episode of Saved by the Bell was on this morning…The “I’m So Excited”/caffeine pill addiction episode – after I just talked about it!!
I totally forgot that the girls film a music video in that episode too, complete with thong leotards. I mean…really?!?! I was seriously dying of laughter!!!
Ohhh, good stuff. Good stuff!
Have a great night!
Did you rock any questionable clothing/hair trends in your younger years?
I TOTALLY rocked permed hair and ultra-curly bangs with the stretchy-pant/puff-paint sweatshirt nightmare that was my closet in the mid-90s. I can’t believe I’m about to show you this but – NERD ALERT – here’s IGE circa fifth grade. AHHH – the horror!