Monday, February 21, 2011

Chicken & Rice Casserole

Tonight we embark on our first food mission.  Well, our first official food mission.  Sara and I have been cooking together for several months now, and the time has come for us to begin documenting our adventures.  Cooking together, for us, has been something that keeps us sane.  We call it our therapy.  There are no husbands and no children in the kitchen when we cook.  Mostly its because no more than two people at a time will fit in either of our kitchens, but we like to believe its because we don't allow them to bother us when we're in the zone.

So here we are, beginning our journey by preparing one of Sara's mom's favorite recipes.  Sara grew up eating her mother's Chicken and Rice Casserole, and now it's her turn to make it for her kids.  I don't have any kids, so my husband was my personal test subject.  And he loved it.

Chicken & Rice Cassarole

Tonight we dove into Frankie's recipe, as published in her 1994 church fundraiser cook book.  Total preparation and cook time was around an hour.  Step one was to cook the rice--and a good reference point is that one cup of uncooked long grain rice makes three cups of cooked rice, exactly what we needed for this recipe.  Next was the sauce.  After sauteing the onions in the butter, we added the pre-combined flour and spices, mixed, and then added the evaporated milk.  We doubled the mushrooms, partially by mistake and partially from a unrequited love of mushrooms (and it was a fabulous idea). 

Chicken & Rice Cassarole

While the sauce was thickening, we chopped up the chicken and threw it in a pan with some oil until it was cooked throughout.  Once we had all of our ingredients prepared, we layered the pan first with rice, then the bag of broccoli, followed by the chicken, evenly topped with sauce and sprinkled with cheese.  We used an entire bag of pre-shredded cheese and I personally thought it was a bit much, but three of the four people eating tonight disagreed with me.  Oh well.

Chicken & Rice Cassarole

Chicken & Rice Cassarole 

Now we ask ourselves the five glorious questions that you ask yourself about a recipe:

1.  How did it taste on a scale of 1 to 5?
We both gave it a 4.  It was comfort food all the way, but not quite gourmet. 

2.  How difficult to make was it on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most difficult?
Easy peasy ... we both scored it a 2.  Basic enough so that even a beginning chef could master this.

3.  What was the price range to make it?
Less than $20--pretty affordable for a dish that serves 6 or more.  

4.  Would you make this again?
Yes.  This is a good dish to comfort you on a rainy day or to forget about a crappy day at the office.  Usually I have these types of foods lying around, which makes it easy to throw together in a pinch.  And its even better the next day. 

5.  What would you do differently next time?

I would add less cheese ... Sara would remember to defrost the chicken first.  We really liked it with double the mushrooms and would suggest this. 

If anyone decides to give this recipe a try, we would love to hear your feedback and any suggestions!


  1. I'm not a fan of rice, but I bet it would be just as good with pasta. Yum!

  2. Good idea! Let us know if you try it :)