Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chicken and Rice Comfort Casserole

I'm always in search of a new idea for leftovers either meat or vegetables. My staple turns for leftovers are frittatas, enchiladas and pizza toppings, but I needed something new. I had leftover chicken and was craving rice, so googled the 2 for inspiration. Taking a lead from this recipe, here is the result.

I have to admit that much as I love love love the summer here, I do welcome the cooler weather; now I can turn on my stove again without cooking myself at the same time. So the prospect of brown rice needing 45 minutes on the stove, was happily an option, this morning, when I got a jump start on dinner.

This is a simple take on a casserole, but from from scratch. The sauce created is very reminiscent of a Campbell's soup casserole, but oh so much tastier and better for you. It checks off all the boxes for nutrition and throws in some major comfort too.

My oldest daughter has just started full day Kindergarten and in contrast to her usual hearty appetite, is often so tired by dinner that she has lost interest in food. So, tonight I prescribed comfort food, in the hope of getting a decent meal in her tired little body, before bed. It worked! I asked her if she liked her dinner and she answered, "Love it!". Score for Mummy!! Unfortunately my 3 year old was not so convinced; I'll keep working on her!

Chicken and Rice Comfort Casserole

Serves 4


3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup low fat milk
1 cup chicken or veg broth ( preferably low sodium)
2-3 cups cooked chicken (chopped)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage (or herb of your choice)
2-3 cups cooked brown rice
1 1/2 cups frozen peas (thawed)
1/4 cup wholegrain breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan


  1. Preheat the oven to 400
  2. Melt butter in a pan over a medium heat
  3. Add the flour and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring.
  4. Pour in the liquid and whisk over the heat until smooth and thickened.
  5. Add the chicken and sage
  6. Taste and season as necessary
  7. Lightly butter or oil a medium sized shallow casserole dish
  8. Place the rice on the bottom of the dish and sprinkle over the peas
  9. Pour the chicken in the sauce over the top and spread evenly
  10. Mix together the breadcrumbs and Parmesan and sprinkle on top of the casserole
  11. Place in the oven for approx 30 minutes and serve with a salad, or not...

Notes on the recipe:
This is an endlessly tweekable recipe; adding more cheese to the sauce would be tasty. Also, many different herbs could replace the sage; thyme would be particularly good. Broccoli or green beans would be good replacements for the peas.


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