Thursday, January 3, 2013

Homemade Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

I loooove this chicken and broccoli casserole recipe--and so does my family.  Actually, everyone I've ever made it for has liked it.  Once I made it for a family at church through our meals ministry.  I delivered it, and 30 minutes later the mom called just to tell me that her kids never liked casseroles, but they gobbled up this one.  That was a shining moment in my culinary career :) 

I think the big secret with this casserole (or any casserole I cook) is that I make it from scratch.  No goopy cans of cream-of-something or powdered soup mixes.  Just simple ingredients, all baked together into hearty, comforting deliciousness.  

This recipe does take time to make (over an hour), but it's worth it!  Plus, it makes a lot, so you could even divide it into two casseroles and freeze one for another dinner.
What you need:  for one 9 x 13 casserole, about 10 servings.
  • 5 cups cooked white rice
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbs oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large chicken breasts (about 1 lb) cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 recipes (about 1 1/2 cups) homemade breadcrumbs
Let's get cooking

 1.  Cook the rice according to package directions.

2.  Lightly steam the broccoli.

3.  Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Whisk in the flour.  Gradually whisk in milk. Simmer until it's thickened slightly, stirring every few minutes so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.  Remove from heat and stir in pepper, salt, garlic powder, and mushrooms.  Set aside.

4.  In a second skillet, heat 1 Tbs oil.  Saute onions over medium heat until soft.  Remove from pan.

5.  Heat 1 Tbs oil in skillet over medium heat.  Cook chicken until browned and cooked through. 

6.  Spray a 9 x 13 glass pan with cooking spray.  Mix together rice, broccoli, mushroom sauce, onions, and chicken.  Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and cheese on top.  Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is turning golden and the casserole is heated through. 


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