Cheesy Chicken & Rice Bake

Of course the day I choose to write about this dish, it’s like freaking 95 degrees outside and the last thing I want to think about is a baked comfort food dish. But once the sun goes down and the fog comes creeping in, I’ll remember why it was so good. Dustin created this for me when I requested something “comforting and cheesy, involving chicken and rice” (hence, the not-so-creative title). We rarely eat casserole-type dishes, so I’m no expert, but it tasted like something that a sweet old church lady would bring to a potluck (which is a good thing – I have fond memories of church potlucks). The little bits of bell pepper were a great addition, and you could add all sorts of chopped veggies, depending on what you have in your fridge. Next time maybe I’ll suggest we add some chopped broccoli.

1 chicken breast half
1 cup water or chicken stock*
1 cup of rice
2 cloves of garlic, 1 halved and 1 minced
1 small white onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
a splash of white wine
a few splashes of milk or cream
salt & pepper to taste
a generous amount of grated jack cheese

*we used the liquid in which we boiled the chicken

  • Butter a casserole dish. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add some salt, a few peppercorns, a halved garlic clove (if desired) and any other spices you want. Add the chicken breast. Simmer until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken, shred, and set aside. Reserve the now-flavorful water.
  • In another saucepan, combine the rice with 1 cup of the reserved water. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer until rice is done, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, saute the garlic in a little olive oil for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant and golden. Add the onion and cook for another few minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • When the rice is done, fluff with a fork. Add the shredded chicken, diced bell pepper, sautéed garlic/onion, wine, milk (or cream), salt & pepper, and a small handful of cheese. Mix well. Scrape the rice mixture into the buttered casserole dish. Top with more cheese.
  • Bake, covered, for about 30 minutes. Finish it off under the broiler for a few minutes to make the cheese bubbly and slightly golden.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.

5 thoughts on “Cheesy Chicken & Rice Bake

  1. This looks and sounds so good. If I had all the ingredients in the house, I’d make it tonight! I’ll definitely be making this soon.

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