Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Salsa chicken & rice casserole


The irony of it is a total knee-slapper. There have been days lately that I have been so busy in the kitchen I have forgotten to figure out something for dinner. Since most of my kitchen time these days is spent working on my upcoming cookbook, I have jars upon jars of pickled things, sauced things, sweet and sticky things but dinner is often the last thing on my mind. As much as my kids would probably love to be handed a fork and a jar of pickles for dinner, it's not my idea of a family meal.

This salsa chicken and rice casserole lets me use up some of the salsa in my house right now (cuz there's lots of it!), while spending virtually no time cooking. Brown rice is sprinkled in the bottom of a casserole dish, the chicken breasts are layered on top, and a mixture of salsa and water is poured over the chicken. It gets seasoned with salt and pepper and baked in the oven, topped with cheese at the end and finished under the broiler until golden and bubbly. Simple and tasty.


Here's how to make it:
Makes 3 servings

1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 1/2 lb (675 g) boneless skinless chicken breast (about 3 breasts)
2 cups (500 mL) salsa
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) water
salt & pepper
1 cup grated cheese such as Monterey Jack, mozzarella or Cheddar

Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Spread out rice in a large casserole dish. Place chicken breasts on top of rice. In a mixing bowl, combine salsa and water. Pour over chicken and rice. Season with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour. Sprinkle cheese on top of casserole. Turn broiler on high and pop casserole back in oven for about 5 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly.

What's your all-time favourite casserole? Leave a comment and share your recipe ideas...

21 comments:

  1. Yummy! If I use chicken thighs instead, would it reduce the cooking time? And if so, would that mess up the rice getting cooked?

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    Replies
    1. Chicken thighs would work fine (and would be super yummy). I'd just nudge the chicken thighs together so they'd stay nice and moist and would require the full cooking time.
      Amy

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  2. Tried your recipe in the crock pot today, excellent! Thanks!

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  3. Thanks for your recipe. I love all of your recipes.. I will be glad if you share more recipe for Us

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  4. I made this the other night, it was SO DEAD easy and SO AMAZING. Thank you thank you thank you!

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    1. You're very very very welcome :) Glad you liked it.

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  5. Can we put leftover rice ?

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    1. Leftover rice would likely become mushy if you use it in this recipe. Fun food fact - Rice contains bacteria called Bacillus cereus, which can produce toxins and make people quite sick. For that reason, leftover rice should be refrigerated immediately after cooking and consumed within 24 hours.

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  6. Is it ok to use white rice ?

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    1. Brown rice will give you better results because it needs a longer cooking time. White rice would go mushy if baked for 1 hour.

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  7. Its a no for white rise ?? anyone ?

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  8. Is the rice pre cooked or uncooked when added to the recipe?

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  9. Hello Amy , i just started cooking so please i would like an answer even if my question sounds pretty silly , are the chicken breasts cooked or uncooked and you have 2 questions about using white rise you didn't answer so i am guessing it is a no for white rise in this dish ??

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    1. The chicken breasts should be uncooked before they go in the oven, and I wrote the recipe using brown rice because white rice has a shorter cooking time and would go mushy if baked for this length of time (1 hour). Thanks for your questions.

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    2. Thank you so much for answering and for this simple and YUUM dish

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    3. You're very welcome. Thanks for commenting.

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  10. Sounds delish and EZ!!! If I would like to double the serving size, would I just double the ingredients? Do U think it would still cook up well?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Paula - Cooking for a large bunch, huh? To make sure the rice cooks evenly, you wouldn't want the ingredients to be layered too tall in the baking dish. I would just make two and bake them side by side.
      I hope you enjoy the recipe! I love this one.

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