Monday, October 16, 2017

One-Pot Creamy Chicken & Rice Casserole

I really liked this dish- it was very creamy and comforting.  There's chicken in here- I used some rotisserie chicken, but I could have actually done without it.  (One could omit the chicken and use veggie broth to make this vegetarian.)  My husband liked the chicken, but I thought it just got in the way of the delish creamy rice.  I might make this again and leave it out.  I think it'll be good either way.  This is kind of like a combo between mac & cheese and risotto.  Although, it's a lot less hands-on than risotto since you don't have to constantly stir. 
One-Pot Creamy Chicken & Rice Casserole
adapted from The Kitchn

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more for seasoning (or to taste)
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 3/4 cups whole or 2% milk
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

1.  Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 8 minutes.

2.  Add the rice and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until they smell toasty, about 1 minute. Add the broth, milk, and remaining salt, and season with pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally so that the rice doesn't stick to the pot. Add the chicken, stir to combine, and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. (Add water as needed if the rice absorbs it all before tender.)

3.  Remove from the heat. Stir in the peas and 1 cup of the cheese. Taste and season with more salt as needed. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese, then cover again and let sit for the cheese to melt and the rice to steam, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
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