I made my husband and his cousin dinner last night. I experimented with a chicken, veggie, and rice casserole. As they made their way into the kitchen I hear “It has broccoli in it” with a bit of disdain. See, my husband understands the benefits of vegetables. And usually I can get him to eat them with some exceptions but he probably wouldn’t cook vegetables for himself. His cousin on the other hand, he is a harder one to crack. Though, he is becoming accustomed to me slipping veggies into most meals I cook for him. Personally, I am not a huge broccoli fan but variety is key for me and I thought I would give it a try. I’m glad I did. I was going to write about this tonight but I am feeling inspired by the leftovers I just scarfed down. I will catch up with pictures tonight.
First thing I did was put two cups of rice on to cook. That would be two dry cups. I used Jasmine rice because that is what we like and had, but any variety would work. Just follow the directions on the bag or box and read below on my notes for the casserole – you will probably only need 1 cup.
Then I cut up two large skinless boneless chicken breasts and put them on a skillet to cook.
While the rice and chicken were cooking, I went to work cutting up veggies. Make sure you have a large mixing bowl ready. First came the broccoli. I had two heads and it came to 2 or 3 cups cut up. I am guessing here on the amount. I cut mine pretty small since I didn’t want big chunks – remember, not my favorite.
Next I added ¼ of a large onion and a large green bell pepper seeded chopped roughly. I grated 3 carrots directly into the bowl. For the record, I don’t peel carrots; I just clean them real well. I minced 2 large cloves of garlic directly into the bowl as well. I gave everything a quick toss.
I took the rice off the heat because it was done and gave the chicken a quick stir. They were pretty much done too.
I grated approximately ¾ of a small brick of sharp cheddar cheese into the mixing bowl. Then I put about 1 ½ cups of mayo into the veggie mixture. And a really good squeeze of prepared spicy brown mustard. Next I added the rice and the chicken. I used just over half my rice and saved the rest for tonight’s dinner. I added some freshly ground black pepper and gave everything a good stir. Make sure it is all combined and consistent. You may need to adjust your mayo/mustard content here. You want to make sure everything is good and moist but not too wet either. I ended up adding a little more of each.
I put all of this into a 9X13 casserole dish and baked at 350 degrees until warmed through – about 10 minutes.
Both of the guys went back for seconds on this one. Even with the broccoli. Look – they ate more than half of it!
I loved that the veggies were still crispy– just warmed through a little. I also love that you can easily adapt this recipe to your liking. Don’t like onion – no biggie, leave it out. Leave out the chicken for a great vegetarian meal or side dish. You can have fun playing with this one!
Since everything is cooked, you could prepare this a day ahead and refrigerate until ready to cook. Don’t ask me about freezing it. That is something I have never tried before!
1 cup of rice
2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped to ½ to 1 inch cubes
2-3 cups broccoli, chopped
2 large bell pepper, chopped
¼ large yellow onion, chopped
3-4 carrots grated
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 ½ cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons of spicy brown mustard
2 garlic cloves minced
Cook rice per package instructions. Combine all ingredients and mix until distributed evenly. Transfer to 9X13 casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees until warmed through.