Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Baking Bits: Chicken and Rice (two ways)

Do you have a favorite dish? Maybe one from your childhood? One of my most favorite dishes from my childhood is Chicken and Rice. My mom made it many, many times (well...that and Macaroni) and her mother, my grandmother made it too. Although we're not too sure where it originated, it is still a family favorite (and my go-to recipe when I don't know what else to cook!).

Now, there are two ways to make this dish. You can make it as a casserole in the oven, which is how we've traditionally made it. But, you can also make it in the crock-pot. Now, either way it doesn't take more than an hour and a half, so you need to plan ahead. This is not an all-day sit in the crock-pot dish.

Here’s what you need:
4 cups INSTANT white rice (you can also use brown)
2 cans chicken (drained)
Cream of SomethingSoup mix (in the yogurt container)
3 ¾ cups milk
1 ½ - 2 cups milk (preferably whole)
½ Onion soup mix (in the clear container...looks like I need to make more)

Measure out 1 cup of Cream of Something mix. Pour into small saucepan.
Add 3 3/4 cups of milk in with the mix
Now, you're going to whisk, whisk and whisk until it thickens (med-low heat).
About 10-15 minutes. I don't whisk continuously, but enough so the milk doesn't burn. 

Pour the rice into a large bowl.

Add the thickened soup mixture to the rice 

Blend the rice and thickened cream of something

Now its time to chop up the chicken. You want to make sure the chicken is not too chunky. I usually take a small knife & just chop it up a little more than what it is in the can. (I love, love, love my handheld strainer.)

Add the chicken to the mixture and stir

After you've added the chicken, you'll see how sticky and thick it is. This is when you'll add the 1 1/2 - 2 cups more milk.
 I wish I had a good way to tell you when to stop, but it's just by looks.
You need enough moisture in the dish so the rice will continue to cook. If there is too little moisture, the rice will stop cooking and be crunchy.
Pour the entire mixture into a 9x13 pan and spread out evenly

Sprinkle the onion soup mixture over the top.
I usually use about 1 1/2 TBSP of mix.

Bake at 350 for 45 with foil on. Remove foil and continue baking another 15 minutes.
Take out and you're ready to eat!

I've served this with green beans most often and some buttered bread. YUM!!!!

Now, since I began searching for ways to cut the grocery bill, I have changed this recipe up a bit.

Here's some changes you can make:
*       Can cut chicken to 1 can, but I prefer a bite of chicken each spoonful!
*       If you bake this dish, you can also use bone-in or boneless chicken breasts. You just need to make sure they are cooked thoroughly before serving.
*       I use this homemade Onion Soup Mix instead of the store bought kind
*  The original recipe calls for 1 can each of Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Celery and Cream of Chicken. We've just substituted with the Cream of Something mix. My kids don't like mushrooms or celery and would not eat it with the "green things" in it! NOTE: You can use any combo of the 3 soups. But, at least 1 chicken & 1 celery. We’ve often left out the mushroom & had 2 chicken.
*  If you love mushrooms, but HATE the Cream of soups, you can try this homemade recipe.
*  To make this in the crock-pot, follow all the instructions above and cook on LOW for 1.5 hours. Sprinkle the onion soup mix on the last 20 minutes or so. 

What's your favorite childhood dish? Share it here!!! Happy Cooking!


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Traci Michele said...

looks good thanks for sharing it with us! just stopping by to say hello! Have a blessed day! Love, Traci

Annette@InAllYouDo said...

You're so welcome!! Let me know if you try it!!!


Jacqueline said...

This looks like comfort food to me!! I will be making a variation of this tomorrow! Thank you for contributing your ideas!

Annette@InAllYouDo said...

Jacqueline - please share your variation!!! I am always looking for ways to change things up!