Cheddar Broccoli Chicken and Rice

It has been really cold outside here in NYC. So that means comfort casserole time. I normally default to mac and cheese when I’m having these sorts of cravings, but I wanted to produce a healthier version. This has all of the warmth and comfort but with the addition of veggies and protein.

Cheddar Broccoli Chicken and Rice

3 cups Arborio rice
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 ½ pound chicken thighs, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 pound bag of frozen broccoli, thawed
½ cup ricotta
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 12oz bag shredded cheddar
½ cup milk
½ cup parmesan
olive oil

Place the rice and the butter in a large pot. Melt the butter and toast the rice grains. Add the water, salt, garlic and bouillon. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then turn the heat down to medium low and place the lid on the pot. Cook for 30 minutes.

Transfer the rice to the final casserole dish. In the same large pot, heat the oil, chicken, and seasoning on medium high, stirring occasionally. Keep cooking the chicken until it is done and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the broccoli to the chicken and cover to steam and heat through. Remove the cover and allow the rest of the liquid to evaporate.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Return the rice to the pot and add the cheeses and milk, except for the final amount of parmesan. Mix the rice mixture to fully combine. The cheese will melt as you mix. Transfer the rice mixture back to the casserole dish. Smooth the top of the rice mixture and spread out the remaining parmesan cheese over the top. Spray or drizzle a tiny amount of olive oil over the parmesan cheese.

Bake the casserole in the oven for 45 minutes or until the cheese on the top forms a nice crusty brown. You can also switch the oven to boil to finish the browning process.

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One response to “Cheddar Broccoli Chicken and Rice

  1. Oh, this takes me back to Forth Worth, Texas, eating at the Black Eyed Pea or Good Eats. Can't wait to try this "healthier" version – without the cream of whatever soups and velveeta!Thank you – it looks divine.

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