CHICKEN VEGETABLE RICE CASSEROLE

This is comfort food at it's best.
Lately, I seem to be making dishes with a roux.  Not sure why...maybe it is because our weather has suddenly turned.  Turned gray, wet, windy, and cold.  Comfort food always tastes better if there is nasty weather about, don't you think?
In this dish, because the rice is precooked, the roux will need to be quite runny.  Next time, I will cook 1/2 the amount of rice so it is a little bit more "saucy".  Nevertheless this was tasty.  Tomorrow's leftovers should be even better!
2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
season blend - I used this one
1 1/4 cups Basmati rice, cooked in 2 1/2 cups water (once cooked set aside)
1 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tblsp. butter
1 shallot, sliced
2 large crimini mushrooms, diced
4 minced garlic cloves
broccoli florets about 2 cups worth - blanched, then rinsed in cold water and drained
3 Tblsp. finely diced green pepper
12 oz. can of corn - or use frozen corn
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2-3 Tblsp. Sweet Rice Flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 Bay Leaf
Parmesan Cheese
Cheddar Cheese
Slice the chicken breasts into even sized chunks.  Season with salt, pepper, and your favorite season blend.  Heat up a frying pan with the EVOO on medium heat.  Saute the chicken about 14 minutes in total, or until not longer pink inside.
Transfer to a bowl, and set aside.
Meanwhile, add the broccoli to boiling water to blanch for one minute, then drain and submerge in cold water.  Once cooled, drain and set aside.
Turn down the heat to low medium.  Add in the butter, and saute the mushrooms, shallot, garlic, and green pepper, for about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.
If necessary add in more butter to make the roux.  Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan, and add in the Sweet Rice flour, whisking well for a minute or so.  Pour in the chicken stock, add the bay leaf, whisking well.  Then add the corn and simmer for 5 minutes, whisking quite frequently.  You want the sauce to be on the runny side, as the rice will absorb the liquid.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease a 9x11 pan with butter.  Add the cooked rice, broccoli, and add a good sprinkling of Parmesan cheese to the casserole dish.
Then add the corn and pan sauce.
Cover with a good layer of grated Cheddar Cheese, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Ina Gawne
author

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October 23, 2012
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