Creamy and Cheesy Chicken and Rice: brown rice, cooked chicken, and lots of cheese all swimming in a decadent, yet healthy cream sauce. This is a dish that everyone loves.
I decided on this Creamy and Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole as my first recipe to share with you because it is easy, tastes extremely indulgent, and appeals to just about every palate–including children!!
It is actually quite funny, because to me, this dish dosen’t wow my tastebuds. It is nothing exoctic or spicy or fancy. BUT every single time I make it my family grins ear to ear, and I have NEVER served it to ANYONE that didn’t love it. That is why I am ALWAYS making a double batch and stashing one in the freezer–it cooks up perfectly from the freezer.
- Make this recipe GLUTEN FREE by combining 2 Tablespoons cornstarch with 2 Tablespoons of the chicken broth together and mixing that mixture with remaining chicken broth. Add that to the melted butter, leaving the flour out of the recipe. Then bring to a boil and simmer until thickened. Follow remaining steps as stated.
- Make this faster by stocking your freezer with homemade chicken stock, cooked chicken and even cooked rice. But feel free to use what you have: store-bought chicken stock, leftover rotisserie chicken, or chicken boiled and shredded.
- If you don’t have fresh thyme–do not worry!! It adds an extra layer of flavor that I enjoy, but is completely not necessary. 1 tsp of dried thyme works as well.
- If you really want to amp up the flavor, add 1/4 cup dry white wine to flour and butter mixture and boil for 1-2 minutes before adding chicken broth. Yummy!
- The recipe’s nutrition was calculated with the full amount of cheese (3 1/2 cups). I leave the cheese off the top often and it is still delicious. You can even reduce the butter by half and have the wonderful flavor real butter adds to a dish still. If you are dieting and need to watch your fat, save a few calories here and there by following those tips, but this is REAL food.
- 4 Tbs butter
- 2 Tbs fresh minced garlic
- 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast
- 4 cups steamed brown rice (4 cups AFTER cooking) This is 1 cup uncooked brown rice
- ¼ cup all purpose, unbleached flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ¼ cup white wine, or additional chicken stock
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Top with 1½ Cups shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
- 1 Tbs fresh chopped thyme (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in flour, chopped thyme, salt and pepper then slowly pour in wine and chicken broth whisking continuously. Whisk until thick and nearly boiling then stir in cheese until melted. Stir in cooked rice and chicken and then transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with additional cheddar cheese, if desired, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted through. Serve.
You can also remake this comfort food with a bit of spice–check out my Buffalo Chicken Creamy Chicken and Rice.