I was looking for something easy to make tonight – and I knew I wanted to use chicken. So, I decided to make an easy chicken and rice casserole – that I could just throw together, put in the oven and forget about it (for the most part). Is it just me or should a casserole be comfort food? Maybe it is because I love casseroles, but I tend to associate them with comfort food. After a night of not sleeping well, and feeling poorly as a result of that, comfort food sounded just like what I needed.
Comfort food, at least in my house, tends to be creamy! And, what could make a casserole more creamy than Campbell’s ‘cream of whatever’ soup? For this recipe, I decided to use a cream of chicken and a cream of celery. To that, I added some celery, carrots and onion – to go with the rice and chicken.
As far as seasonings, I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and umami seasoning.
For the chicken, I used my instant pot to cook it (in 1 cup of stock, which I also added to the casserole). I cooked 2 very large chicken breasts, from frozen in 20 minutes – and used my hand mixer to shred it. I’ve blogged about this before – and, I still stand by the fact that I’ll never do shredded chicken any other way!
I chose to make the casserole in my large dutch oven. Once all the vegetables were chopped and the chicken was shredded, I just dumped everything into the dutch oven.
And stirred… Yes, it is really that simple! Dump the ingredients and stir!
I then put the lid on, and put the dutch oven in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, I removed it from the oven, uncovered, topped with bread crumbs. You don’t want to add the bread crumbs until some of the liquid from the casserole have been absorbed – otherwise, it will just get mushy, instead of adding a little crispiness to the top of the casserole.
And back into the oven it went, uncovered – for another 20 minutes.
There are vegetables in the casserole, but if you want – you can serve alongside another vegetable or side. I had some field peas with mine.
Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole
2 – 3 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (along with stock from cooking the chicken breasts)
2 1/2 cups rice
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery (or mushroom) soup
2 1/2 ‘cans’ (using soup can to measure) chicken stock
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp paprika
2 tsp Umami seasoning
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs