Monday, July 25, 2011

Broccoli-Chicken Casserole

So...I finally made the last broccoli-chicken casserole that I mixed up at the beginning of last week.  I will forewarn you that this recipe made three dishes full of the casserole: an 8 x 8 squared inch dish, a casserole dish, and an 11x 6 (or so) squared inch dish.  I'll also forewarn you that I did freeze (covering them of course before I did) all three of the dishes because I knew we weren't going to be eating them in sequence (i.e., three days in a row).  Also, there are a few adjustments that I would do to the amount of ingredients (which I'll mention at the end); however, the basic directions are still the same.  With that we go!!!

  • 6 cups uncooked rice
  • 1 small white/red onion (up to you)
  • 9 tbs. of butter/margarine (divided)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 lbs. of Velveeta cheese
  • 2 cans of chicken
  • 1 bag of frozen broccoli
  1. Begin cooking the rice according to it's packaging.
  2. Open the bag of frozen broccoli into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Chop up the onion into small pieces and sautee in 1 tbs. of butter/margarine.  You may leave this out if you'd prefer, but I think it gives it more flavor.  Once sauteed, place in the large mixing bowl with the broccoli.
  4. Open the cans of chicken and drain.  Then, place into the mixing bowl with the broccoli and onions.
  5. Cut the other 8 oz. of butter (if using a stick) into thin slices to make it easier to mix later and place in the mixing bowl with the other 3 ingredients so far.
  6. Cut the Velveeta cheese into smallish chunks and place into the mixing bowl as well.
  7. Once the rice is done (per the packaged directions), add the rice into the mixing bowl along with the ingredients in so far.
  8. Add the 1 cup of milk.
  9. Mix all of the ingredients together.
  10. You'll want to grease each dish to discourage sticking.  You may use Pam spray or shortening.
  11. If you're doing two meals with this, I recommend using 2- 9 by 13 inch dishes.  If you're doing more than two meals, I would divide it up among at least three different dishes.
  12. Divide the casserole mixture into the different dishes being used.
  13. If you decide to cook one of them, I would recommend cooking at 375 degrees for about 30-60 minutes depending on how it looks after the 30 minutes.
  14. Halfway through cooking (15-30 minutes), I do stir the casserole so that the cheese is more evenly spread throughout.
  15. Once done, pull out of the oven and enjoy!!!
If you choose to freeze them and then use them for your evening meals (dinner/super-whichever is your term of choice), I recommend pulling them out in the morning and placing them in the refrigerator to thaw for most of the day.  This helps so that there's less cooking time and the dish is less likely to break with the heat change.  Also, I would definitely cook the casserole if thawed from the freezer for the 60 minutes at 375 degrees, stirring about the 30 minute mark.

Before being cooked

After being cooked

Changes that I recommend to the recipe that you may try are:
  1. Adding an extra bag of broccoli: This will add more broccoli to each of the dishes you put the casserole into. 
  2. Adding an extra 1/2 cup of milk: This may add more moisture to the dish if that's what you feel like doing.
  3. Adding an extra cup of Velveeta cheese: I noticed that one of our pans didn't get much of the cheese.  If you did one more cup, it may even out the amount a bit.  Honestly though, I think it turned out fine (for the most part), especially since I mixed halfway through cooking.
  4. Take out the chicken altogether: If you're just looking for something as a side-dish, feel free to take the chicken out altogether.  I added the chicken, frankly, because I was lazy and didn't feel like doing more than one thing for a meal.  It made it easier to add and mix it all as one main dish.
  5. Subsitution: If you want, you could substitute the milk with cream of mushroom soup; however, the dish would NOT be gluten free then.  Most cream of mushroom soups have a wheat/gluten biproduct in it.  If you do the cream of mushroom soup, I would do at least one can, and then, keep the full cup of milk.
Hope you all enjoy this dish!


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