December 02, 2009

Chicken & Mushrooms with Rice


Ingredients:
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
12 oz evaporated milk
8 oz diced crimini mushrooms
2 cups cooked long grain rice
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 cup diced green onion
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 shallots, minced
2 eggs
1 stalk celery, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt


Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside. In a small skillet, heat the oil. Add the shallot, chicken and mushroom and saute until the chicken starts brown and the shallots, celery and mushrooms are soft. Pour into a bowl and add rice, cheese, green onion. In a small bowl, whisk together the spices, egg and evaporated milk. Pour over the rice mixture. Stir to evenly distribute all ingredients. Pour into the casserole dish. Cover and bake for about 45 minutes or until the the chicken is fully cooked and the dish looks "set".

Note: If the dish is still runny looking but looks otherwise fully cooked, remove the cover and cook until some of the excess liquid evaporates. This is mostly an issue if the lid of your dish is very tight fitting.

My thoughts:
Recently a reader emailed me asking if I had a chicken and rice casserole recipe that that didn't use condensed cream of mushroom soup. Now, I didn't grow up in a casserole eating family so I actually haven't eaten too many casseroles much less made them but I had a good idea what I was up against. My husband is just getting over a bout of illness so I thought it would be the perfect time to make this comforting dish. I used undiluted evaporated milk because it tastes much creamier than milk but isn't nearly as high in fat as cream or half and half or even whole milk. I sauteed the chicken, shallots and celery to add a depth of flavor that canned soup just can't deliver. Using cooked rice (you can even leave leftover rice from another meal) eliminates the "will this dry out before it is finished cooking" issue that baking raw rice often runs into and gives the dish a creamy, more risotto-like texture.


9 comments:

  1. PS- Your recipe looks and sounds delicious! Get 'em you new Casserole Queen!

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  2. I grew up eating many a casserole made with Condensed Cream of ___ Soup. (fill in the blank with chicken, mushroom, etc...) I actually just figured out how to make homemade condensed soups that are gluten and dairy free. I posted the recipe last night! Small world....
    I'm always scared to put uncooked rice in a casserole. The thought of it not cooking makes me sad, frankly! hahaha! You get all excited by the delicious smells emanating from the oven. Then, epic fail, the rice is like hard pellets! hahahaha!

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  3. This sounds great. It turned cold today and I was just thinking ahead for something to make for dinner. This sounds perfect. I have some left over Jasmine rice that I think will work very nicely here! Can't wait to try it out!

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  4. This sounds 100x better than the version my mom growing up (which always had dry chicken...)! Nice twist on a classic!

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  5. Thank you! I love casseroles, but as soon as I see the words condensed soup I stop looking. Those soups are just laden with too much salt.

    Thanks again!

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  6. Hey Rachel! Your combination looks just delish!!!!

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  7. I also grew up with the chicken casserole made with condensed cream of whatever soup and never had a problem with the rice not cooking. I kept the pan tightly covered with tin foil until near the end when I took it off for browning. However, my days of white rice are gone and I am not sure brown rice would do the same, so this looks like a good one to try. I'll toss some brown rice into the rice cooker and while it goes, will get the rest ready. I love comfort foods like this.

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  8. Ooh, I bet this is so comforting and delicious - with the condensed milk and the smoked paprika. Yum!

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  9. This looks, in short, AWESOME! Really, well done! Making this for my next holiday pot luck!

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