It's winter outside and time for some of my favorite comfort foods. One of my favorites is my Creamy Chicken and Rice. I guess technically it is a casserole, but not in the "just throw everything in a baking dish" sense. I always try and save half of a rotisserie chicken for this when I buy one. I use the rotisserie chicken because of it's wonderful flavor it imparts to the dish. I also use these tasty chickens in my Jambalaya recipe as well. I have to say that Walmart has about the best rotisserie chickens I have found.
I have several other "Chicken and Rice" dishes but this one is my favorite. My Mom used to make one that was the inspiration for this version. I added a touch of cayenne and a little more garlic than you might like, I like it a little spicy. You can leacve out the chicken and substitute other types of cream soups like celery and mushroom if you want to use this as a side dish with your chicken or whatever.
2-3 cups cooked chicken meat
1½ cups water
1½ cups uncooked rice
2 10 oz. cans of Cream of Chicken Soup
½ large onion (diced small)
2 sticks celery (sliced thin)
4-5 cloves of garlic (minced fine)
3 green onions (with green tops, sliced thin)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp Tony Chachere's
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbs minced parsley (dried or fresh)
¼ stick butter
2 tbs oil
Preheat oven to 350º, then in an oven-proof pot (with a lid) on the stove at MED heat, saute the onions and celery in the butter and oil. When wilted, add green onions, garlic, and all seasonings. Cook 5 mins., then add chicken and cook for another 5 mins. Add water and bring to a boil. Add the rice and stir well to incorporate. Cook until rice has nearly absorbed all the liquid. Add the soup and stir well to make sure all is blended well. Place covered in the oven for 45 mins. to an hour. Rice should be done and tender with a nice bubbly crust on top. Let it steam for about 10 mins and serve.
I always use my left over rotisserie chicken for this recipe. I usually have about half a chicken, the thighs and one side of the breast meat, left over for this recipe. If you use fresh chicken, make sure it is cooked done before adding rice. You can omit the oil and add more butter, but be careful not to burn your vegetables when you sauté them, the oil helps prevent that.
Enjoy this dish during the winter months to take the chill off, I think you'll love the richness of it.