Best Chicken Rice Casserole

Best Chicken Rice Casserole

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Best Chicken Rice Casserole
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When Jill and I were newly married we would “house sit” for extra money. Often times “house sitting” came along with kids. Jill worked in an affluent part of town. So we had so much fun staying the weekend in these mansions and seeing how “the one percenters” lived. We were broke but happy as clams. A weekend of free food while making money felt like we were scamming them. Most of the families were fabulous and given Jill was a teacher we could sign up for the better behaved kids. Only a couple times we regretted the assignment and we would have gladly passed on the cash.

So on one gig, we luckily scored a delightful house of happy kids. So one evening we entered the house full of fragrant food smells. A simple glass dish tightly wrapped in foil sat on the stove top. The kids were delighted and raved about chicken rice night. We unwrapped the foil and saw a pretty simple looking dish. However, following my first spoonful of that rice blew my mind. What the heck is this? How is this rice so full of flavor?

You basically lay down some bacon, put uncooked rice and chicken on top and then pour the wet ingredients so that covers the chicken and rice. The rendered bacon fat infuses into that rice and transforms it into something magical. The chicken comes along for the ride but the black pepper and oregano make it special with a nice heat. What’s crazy is that for the most part you don’t eat the bacon. Maybe the meaty bits but the fatty parts you chunk. You could partially cook it and then add it but I don’t dare dabble in voodoo because it would be tragic to jeopardize that rice. IMG_9766

You really should try this one. You can adjust the spice according to your tastes.

Ingredients:
2 trimmed chicken breasts and two thighs
1 can Cream of Chicken
1 cup of water
1 cup of uncooked long grain rice
3-4 strips of bacon
1-2 tsp of black pepper
pinch of Slap Ya Mama (cayenne)
1-2 tsp of Oregano
1 tsp of Garlic Powder

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 300. Take a glass baking dish (2qt) or 9×9 or 8×11. Lay the raw bacon on the bottom of the dish. Arrange it so that it is touching but not overlapped. Cut it to fit.

Sprinkle your cup of rice over the top of bacon and then nestle your chicken atop the rice. Mix your wet ingredients and spices together and pour that mixture over the chicken/rice/bacon. Move it around to make sure everything it coated. Pepper your chicken and top it with Paprika for some color.
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Double wrap this dish tightly with foil and cook it for 1 hour and then open the foil to allow the liquid to reduce until gone. I also made a simple spinach by sauteing some onions and garlic and then added spinach with a few splashes of red wine vinegar.
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