Saturday, November 8, 2014

Grandma's Chicken & Rice Bake (Copy Cat of Stouffers)

This one looks yummy too!  It makes enough to make 2 pans of recipe so that you can cook one and freeze one for later.  MY NOTE:  We do LOVE the Stouffer's Chicken and Rice Bake!  This was a recipe that was done at Mommy's Kitchen as a blog promo for Progresso soup.  I would use the chicken soup and skip the Progresso Mushroom soup.  Since there is actual cheese added to the recipe, I might not add the cheese soup either.

6 - chicken breasts, cooked & cut in pieces or use rotisserie chicken
1/2 - cup butter or margarine, separated
1/2 - cup chopped onion
2 - carrots, peeled & diced
1 - cup frozen peas or peas & carrot mix
4 - cups cooked converted or brown rice (converted rice is par boiled rice)
1 - 18 oz can Progresso cream of mushroom soup
1 - 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup or
2 - cans cream of chicken & omit mushroom soup
1- 10 3/4 oz can cheddar cheese soup
2 - cups milk
1 - 8 oz package Kraft Shredded Three Chesse Blend or regular cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 - cups Panko bread crumbs
3 - tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Cook the rice first according to package directions. You will need 4 cups cooked rice. Cut the chicken breasts into smaller size pieces for even cooking.

Drizzle some olive oil into a large skillet. Heat up a skillet or grill pan. The skillet needs to be nice and hot.

Add the chicken pieces and pan fry until golden brown on each side and the chicken is cooked through. Cook the chicken in batches so you don't crowd the skillet. Set the chicken aside.

In a separate saucepan melt 5 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the diced carrot, onions and peas. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent in color. Set veggies aside when done.

In a very large bowl add the cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken, cheddar cheese soup and milk. Stir together;

Add shredded cheese, chicken, cooked veggies and rice. Gently mix everything together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour mixture into two 9x11 inch pans (I used disposable roaster pans from Walmart). In a small bowl melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and mix with the bread crumbs.

Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly between both casseroles. Place in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Cook until mixture is bubbly and the topping is golden brown.

To Freeze Casserole: Wrap unbaked casserole with glad press and seal or plastic wrap, and then wrap with on layer of aluminum foil. Date the casserole and freeze.

To cook Frozen Casserole. Remove casserole from freezer, thaw and bake at 350 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and heated through.

Recipe Yields: Two 9 x 11 inch casseroles.

This version was done by a Freezer Club and is the one on which the above was based I believe:

4 cups cooked converted rice (like Uncle Ben's)
3-4 chicken breasts
1/4 onion
1 tsp garlic powder (or equivalent in minced garlic)
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
3 cups whole milk
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can of cream of chicken soup
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups frozen peas & carrots
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt

Cooking Directions:
Cut chicken into a bite-size pieces then fry in skillet with onion and garlic until done. Set aside.
Cook rice, according to package directions, so to have 4 cups when done. Be sure to use converted rice, it works better.
In a large dutch oven, melt 4 Tbsp butter and wisk in 4 Tbsp flour. Mix for one minute.
SLOWLY add milk to pot, letting it thicken and fully blend in with butter/flour before adding another cup. Stir constantly until mixture is thick and bubbly. This step will take a while, be patient, it's worth it.
Add 3 cups of sharp cheddar cheese to milk mixture until it's melted in. Then stir in 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper & can of cream of chicken soup. Mix well, then add veggies, chicken and rice.
Mix Panko & 1/2 tsp salt in a sandwich bag.
Do nothing with 2 T of butter.

Freezing Directions:
* Let cool and pour into gallon freezer bag.
* Freeze up to 3 months

Reheating Directions:

Thaw in fridge overnight.
Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 pan, and be sure oven is preheated to 350 degrees.
In clean bowl, melt 2 T of butter and pour into sandwich bag that has panko mixture. Mix well (shake and use your fingers).
Sprinkle panko mixture over top of casserole.
Bake casserole, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes, until it's bubbly and gold brown.

* Serves 8-10

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