This weekend was chock full of cooking, so I’ll tell you about it in chronological order. First came chicken rice casserole a la Mom. Mom’s Chicken Rice Casserole probably came from my dad’s mother, which rightfully makes it Grandma’s Chicken Rice Casserole. But she’s a mom, too, so we’ll leave it as Mom’s and they’ll both get credit.
Whatever you call it, this dish always makes me think of the previous generations of cooks in our family. I don’t know about you, but bonus happy thoughts are always appreciated in our kitchen.
I still love casseroles even though they aren’t as trendy as they used to be.They are absolutely perfect if you need to cook ahead of time. I made this on Friday, put it in the fridge completely assembled, and then it was heated up on Saturday without a problem. Magic Saturday dinner without any Saturday dirty dishes or prep work!
Mom’s Chicken Rice Casserole: the recipe
Serves 9-12, takes a while to put together (maybe 45 minutes of active time to cook all of the chicken, chop it up, cook the rice, combine everything else), reheats like a dream with 30 minutes in the oven.
- 8 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
- 2 packages Long Grain & Wild Rice, cooked (I go with the lowest sodium option I can find)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 large can chopped mushrooms (or 2 small), drain, reserve liquid
- 1 1/4 cups cream or Carnation milk (I’ve only ever used cream)
- 1 can sliced water chestnuts
- 1 can artichoke hearts, very roughly chopped (for me, it’s usually just one chop in half per piece)
- Salt and pepper
- Sliced almonds (for topping)
- Parsley (about 2 tablespoons)
- Cook onion in butter until transparent, then remove from heat. Stir in 1/3 cup flour, chicken stock, and mushroom liquid. Add cream. Cook and stir until sauce thickens. It looks so lovely at that point!
- Add chicken, rice, mushrooms, water chestnuts, artichoke hearts, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy the nice arm workout that it takes to stir all of those things together. Consider adding this recipe to your workout routine.
- Placed in a greased casserole, then sprinkle with almonds. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees or for longer if you refrigerate before baking.
There aren’t too many extra tips needed. I like to cook the chicken in a skillet with olive oil or butter and a dash of salt and pepper. That means I have to add less salt and pepper later, and it really helps the chicken in the flavor department. All of that good searing action goes a long way.
Last but not least, the artichoke hearts are completely optional. They were my addition, and I do think they add a certain happy something. They aren’t an integral ingredient, however.
What recipes remind you of your childhood? Any casseroles in the mix?