Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Speedy - Chicken Bake

Last night, was busy, busy, busy. When am I not in a rush? Well, I wanted to put together a chicken bake, but ended up getting started a little late. So here's what I did to speed things up a bit and have dinner on the table by... ok, 6:10pm.

2 Chicken Breasts
2 Cups Rice
1 Can Cream of Chicken
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Celery Stalk, chopped
1 Carrot Stick, chopped
1 Summer Squash, chopped (optional or may substitute for another veggie)
1 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp Sage
1 cup Shredded Cheese

1. Pre-Heat oven to 425. Sautee veggies in 1 Tbsp butter, for about 3 minutes. During this time, cut the chicken to 1" strips. Once veggies are cooked, remove from pan.

2. Add some oil to pan if needed, and add chicken. Season with salt, pepper and breadcrumbs (just sprinkled over chicken). Cook for about 2 minutes on one side, turn and repeat on the 2nd side. Should be about half cooked when you are done in the pan.

3. In large bowl, start mixing cooked rice with veggies, 3/4 can of Cream of Chicken soup, 1/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup shredded cheese and 2-3 Tbsp Breadcrumbs. Sprinkle in Thyme and Sage. Season with Salt and pepper. Continue mixing until well distributed. (Now, I used leftover rice which was cold - so I got it started heating up in the microwave for about 3 minutes, so it didn't have to keep the casserole in the oven for very long.)

4. Cream Sauce - In a separate bowl, mix together the rest of the Cream of Chicken, 1/4 cup milk, 2-3 Tbsp Breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup Shredded Cheese, 1 Tbsp chopped butter, salt & pepper to taste.

5. Transfer rice mixture to casserole dish. Layer with Summer Squash, Chicken and smother with cream sauce. Cook uncovered in oven for 15-20 minutes or until it is bubbly and the top is starting to brown.

Nothing fancy about this recipe. It is supposed to be quick and easy. Use what you have on hand, I have done it without the cream sauce on top, or no veggies at all. But I got rave reviews from everyone last night. So I thought I'd share with you a few of my little secrets.

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