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chicken and rice casserole
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Chicken and Rice Casserole

Chicken and Rice Casserole is an easy, homemade, chicken casserole loaded with broccoli and cheddar!  This casserole is easy to make with the most flavorful chicken and breadcrumb topping!
Author Nichole

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Large Chicken Breasts About 1.5 Pounds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ½ Large Lemon Juiced
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Cup Long Grain White Rice
  • 3 ½ Cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Cups Small Broccoli Florets
  • 8 ounces Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Large White Onion, Diced
  • 1 tablespoon All Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup Milk
  • ½ cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Sleeve Ritz Crackers crushed

Instructions

  • Mix the black pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon of salt together in a small bowl.
  • Cut the chicken into bite size pieces then add them to a large zip-top bag along with the olive oil mixture and toss to combine. Seal and marinade for at least 30 minutes in the fridge, or up to 8 hours.
  • Add the rice, 1 ¾ cup of chicken broth and the remaining salt to a deep saucepan or a small soup pot and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
  • Cover and reduce the heat to low medium. Cook for 18-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for five to six minutes without removing the lid.
  • While the rice is cooking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add the chicken along with the marinade sauce. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is cooked thru.
  • Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the pan, add the onion and cook until soft and translucent. Then add the garlic and cook for one minute.
  • Add 2 more tablespoons of butter to the pan, reduce the heat to low medium and whisk in the flour. Let it bubble for thirty seconds before adding the chicken broth to the pan. Let the broth thicken before stirring in the milk. Let simmer once again until thickened. Whisk the entire time to prevent burning. Remove from the heat and set aside
  • Add the broccoli florets and the chicken to the frying pan and stir to combine.
  • Then carefully stir in the rice and cheese, don’t over stir or the rice will start to gum up. Add salt to taste and pour the mixture into a large cast iron skillet or a 9x13 baking dish.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sour cream. Melt the remaining butter in a medium bowl, add the crushed crackers and stir to combine.
  • Sprinkle the crackers over the casserole in an even layer and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crackers have darkened a bit in color.
  • Remove the casserole from the oven and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Notes

RECIPE NOTES:
  • As I said above the chicken does call for a marinade in this recipe.  This can be optional though if you don't have time, just make sure to season your chicken very well!  You can also start the marinade in the morning, then grab the chicken from the fridge when you're ready to cook in the evening.
  • We use long grain white rice for this recipe.  It has not been tested with minute rice, or brown rice.
  • I use fresh broccoli for this recipe and it comes out crisp/tender.  If you like softer broccoli, be sure to steam it first before adding to the casserole.  Or, you can use frozen first and just cook according to package directions.
  • The topping of Ritz crackers is optional, but it does make this casserole amazing!  If you don't have/want to use them, just top the dish with buttered breadcrumbs, potato chips, or even just extra shredded cheese instead.