Thursday, October 4, 2007

Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole

This is one of my favorite recipes for leftover chicken after I cook a whole chicken. It's this and one I found on a Weight Watchers website, so I'll have to do that one this time, although I think I like this one slightly more. I haven't made it recently, and it occurred to me this morning that I think I add something else to it, but I don't remember what that was, so I'll just make it as is. This is from Cooking Light. I'm kind of wondering how it would freeze. I want to start making double of things we like so I can freeze one and have dinners ready to go in the freezer for nights I don't feel like cooking or to take to people who need dinner. Like my friend Benah just got put on bed rest for the next 15 weeks or so of her pregnancy, so it would be nice to have a bunch of stuff I could take to her. (I'm still going to take them dinners, it would just be nice to have things already done.)

Anyway, here's the recipe:

Creamy Chicken-and-Rice Casserole
1 (6.9-ounce) package one-third-less-salt chicken-flavored rice-and-vermicelli mix with chicken broth and herbs
1 tablespoon margarine
2 1/4 cups hot water
Vegetable cooking spray
1 1/2 pounds skinned, boned chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup presliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup nonfat sour cream
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can reduced-fat, reduced-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/4 cup crushed multigrain crackers (about 6 crackers)
1 tablespoon margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

Cook rice mix in a large nonstick skillet according to package directions, using 1 tablespoon margarine and 2 1/4 cups hot water. Remove mixture from skillet; set aside. Wipe skillet with a paper towel.

Coat the skillet with cooking spray, and place over high heat until hot. Add chicken, mushrooms, and garlic powder; sauté 6 minutes or until chicken loses its pink color. Combine rice mixture, chicken mixture, sour cream, pepper, and soup in a bowl; stir well. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Combine cracker crumbs, margarine, and poppy seeds; stir well, and sprinkle over chicken mixture. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Make-Ahead Tips: You can assemble the casserole ahead of time, omitting the cracker-crumb mixture; cover and chill in the refrigerator or freeze (thaw frozen casserole overnight in refrigerator). Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes; top with cracker-crumb mixture, and bake as directed.


Okay, so as with everything else, I put cheese on top instead of the crackers. I only did that because the crackers weren't on sale the first time I made this, and I already had cheese. Anyway, I also use chicken that's already cooked, but I think I'll saute the mushrooms. I messed up and did the rice in a saucepan instead of a skillet. Oh well.

I think we'll have canned green beans with it. I'm not sure one else in my family eats them, not even the dog. So I guess I'll have green beans, they can just have casserole and salad. :)

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