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Monday, November 19, 2012

Dinner Tonight: Parmesan Chicken Casserole

Happy Thanksgiving!  It's hard to believe the holidays are upon us already!  I had great intentions of posting a fun treat for Thanksgiving but the weekend just got away from me.  You might be getting a bonus post from me on Wednesday morning... I just can't pass up the cuteness of this idea and I certainly can't wait until next year.

I had a chance to play around with a new recipe for dinner last night.  I've never used boil-in-a-bag rice, let alone in a chicken casserole bake.  Maybe you have all been-there-done-that, but here goes nothing... of course, I like to put my own spin on recipes so the one below is tweaked.  From start to finish it took about 40 minutes including the 30 minute cooking time.  The parmesan cheese added a nice nutty/salty flavor to the rice and it was easy!  Great for those winter nights in our near future!


Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole
(serves 4)
Parmesan Chicken & Rice Casserole- www.thecreativeconfectionista.com1- small onion, chopped
3- cloves garlic, minced
2- bags of boil-in-a-bag rice (brown or white)
1/3 c. white wine
1- package thick chicken breasts (cut in half lengthwise)
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 c. chicken broth, (1/3 less fat low sodium)
1/3 c. half and half
1/2 c. parmesan, grated

Parmesan Chicken & Rice Casserole- www.thecreativeconfectionista.comParmesan Chicken & Rice Casserole- www.thecreativeconfectionista.comPreheat your oven to 450F.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add onions.  Saute until golden brown.  Add garlic for about 30 seconds being careful not to burn it.  Remove rice from the bags and add to the pan.  Saute until well mixed.  Stir in the wine and cook until the liquid is almost evaporated.  Spoon the rice mixture in an even layer into a 9x13 inch baking dish that is coated with cooking spray.  arrange the chicken in a single layer over the rice.  Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, thyme and sea salt.  In a separate bowl, mix the broth and half and half.  Pour over the chicken.

Bake at 450F for 15 minutes.  I'll admit, I was skeptical when I saw how much liquid was in the baking dish but the rice absorbed quite a bit after 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, I sprinkled it with parmesan cheese and baked it for another 5 minutes like the recipe said.  I took it out again and it was still had more liquid that I thought it should and the chicken wasn't cooked completely.  So back in the oven it went for an additional 10 minutes.

My suggestion is to keep an eye on the casserole during this step when you are making it for the first time.  Every oven is different so it could just be my oven.  But maybe not.  I kept it in until the chicken was thoroughly cooked and the parmesan cheese was a light golden brown.  It smelled amazing! 

Parmesan Chicken & Rice Casserole- www.thecreativeconfectionista.comThe verdict?  A-
This was really good but it needed a little something.  It doesn't lack flavor but maybe it needs a little kick and some color.  I would consider adding 1/4 cup chopped red peppers or julienne sun dried tomatoes.  The dish is versatile.  I would even play around with some root veggies, asparagus or broccoli... it would all be very good!

I would definitely make this again!  The rice was the perfect texture and was very creamy, almost reminded me of a risotto.  (which always makes us start quoting Gordon Ramsey from Hell's Kitchen!  THE RISOTTO!!?!!)  The chicken was moist and could be cut with a fork.  Overall, a good dish that could be experimented with a little depending on your tastes.

2 comments:

  1. This looks delicious and easy!! :) Gonna try it! Love your blog!!!
    XO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!! :)

      It was easy and I have to say I've been enjoying the leftovers! I added chopped sun dried tomatoes last night and baked my plate for 15 minutes. It was SO GOOD!

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