Creamy Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Bake

Gayle McLeod | March 1, 2015

Tender chunks of chicken, wholesome brown rice and tender-crisp bites of broccoli all baked in a creamy sauce, topped with golden bread crumbs... sound good? We thought so too! 

Serves 6

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

4 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

salt & pepper to taste

1 medium onion, small dice (about 1 cup)

1/4 cup dry white wine or Intense Natural Chicken Stock

3 cups cooked brown rice 

2 cups fresh broccoli florets

1 container Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

1 cup Intense Natural Chicken Stock or milk

1 cup aged cheddar cheese, grated

2 tbsp melted butter or olive oil

1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated 

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and season well with salt & pepper. Brown the chicken until just cooked through, then transfer to a large baking dish or lasagne pan.

Add the diced onions to the pan and cook gently over medium-low heat until translucent and soft. Pour the 1/4 cup wine or stock into the pan to deglaze, scraping up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the Broccoli & Cheddar soup along with the 1 cup of stock or milk to the onions and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat.

Add to the baking dish with the chicken: cooked rice, broccoli florets, cheddar cheese. Pour over the soup mixture and stir gently to evenly mix the ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter with the bread crumbs and sprinkle evenly over the casserole. Top with the grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the casserole is bubbling nicely and has turned a nice golden brown on top. If the bread crumbs need a little help to brown, feel free to use the broiler for the last 5 minutes, just keep a close eye.

Enjoy! 

Note: This recipe will handle substitutions well... try green beans, peas or even chopped kale instead of broccoli; sub quinoa for the rice; or use fontina or gruyere cheese instead of cheddar.

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