Thursday, January 10, 2013
Healthier Chicken Casserole
It rained yesterday (and amazingly, it's still raining today--drought for years and then a solid week of rain). I truly LOVE the rain when I am able to cuddle up at home and stay put. I mean, what's not to love about sitting in front of windows, watching it patter on the leaves, hearing the soft drumming on the roof, a glass of wine and a good book. Or a cup of tea and netflix. A cat purring on your lap while you surf the net.
Yes, my cat thinks he and my computer fit in my lap at the same time. When I'm really a cat whisperer, I get him to sit on my feet and warm them up.
Rainy days are also the perfect day for this casserole. When I was younger, my mom used to make an awesome Campbell's soup casserole. I think it was something like a cup of rice, a can of cream of something soup, one or two cans of water/broth, and chicken quarters, tossed in a Corelle casserole dish and baked for 45 minutes. Health food? Not particularly. But it was savory, comforting good stuff. It's like risotto for kids. Perfect rainy day food.
So when my friend Corrie had her munchkin and the ladies of our church put together a little meal delivery for her and her husband, I knew this would be a good fit. However, I also wanted to make it a little healthier. I found this recipe at Saveur and fell in love a little bit before I tried it. I did taste one single grain of rice after it came out of the oven, and it was scrumptious, or as scrumptious as one grain of rice can be. I mean, I would have loved to have a full scoop, but I think it's probably frowned upon to deliver a dish to new parents with a missing corner. That's what I use for white elephant gifts (Hi Amanda :-) ).
I delivered it in my sweats. I mean, I was going to stop by Wal-Mart on my way home, and they have a strict dress code.
Not a low carb recipe as is, but I'm darn sure I'm going to try it with cauli-rice:-)
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-1.5" pieces
salt and pepper
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, pressed/minced
.5 lb mushrooms, sliced
1.5 c broth
1/4 c cream
1/2 c sour cream
2 tsp seasoning of choice (I used Dash)
1/2 tsp paprika
1). Preheat oven to 375. Heat olive oil to med high and sprinkle some salt in the pan (helps keep chicken from sticking). Brown the meat briefly in batches-- it'll cook in the oven later, so we're just looking for the savory goodness of browning. Put in a bowl to the side.
2) Add more olive oil and saute onions til translucent. Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds or so. Pour into pyrex dish.
3) Add mushrooms to pan and saute. No oil needed. Meanwhile, toss the cup o' rice into the dish with the onions. Pour mushrooms over when they have cooked down.
4) Add 1/4 cup stock to skillet and deglaze. Add the rest of the broth, sour cream and cream to the skillet. Heat and mix the best you can. Pour over rice/onions/mushrooms and mix until all is evenly distributed. Place chicken evenly over the mixture. Put aluminum foil over the dish as tightly as possible.
5) Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.