Saturday, June 7, 2014

Casserole with a Long Name and Lots of Flavor.

There I was, chicken breasts defrosted so I could make a favorite of mine, Seared Chicken and Risi E Bisi for lunch. I'd also defrosted small shrimp to make Skillet Shrimp and Pasta for dinner. Now here comes the problem, coming home after a three hour adventure which included two hours of hiking and climbing up to an arch doesn't put you in the mood for cooking...anything.

I half heartedly pulled out the ingredients for the first recipe, but then I spied a packet of broccoli which I had chopped up, steamed and frozen; then it came to me!  What if I take the chicken, shrimp, broccoli and mixed it all up with the rice into a casserole dish and cooked it all at once?  Yeppers, I was feeling inspired and it wouldn't be that hurtful to my already aching muscles.  For the Risi E Bisi I would use Arborio rice, since this is actually a risotto dish; instead I used packets of chicken flavored rice to make life just a little bit easier.

Now if you can't or don't like shrimp, simply leave it out, but add another half pound of the chicken in its stead; only a half pound because it is denser than the shrimp.  I did let a friend sample this creation out of my tired mind, and she enjoyed it.  Oh, the long name?  Each main ingredient is almost equal to the next and couldn't decide who to give the most credit to; I gave it to all of them!  Even the Cheddar cheese which was screaming at me from the cheese drawer, "pick me...pick meeeee!!!"

Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole with Chicken and Shrimp


1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into one inch pieces
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 (5.5 oz) packets chicken rice mix
1 and 1/2 cups small chopped broccoli pieces
1 lb. small shrimp, cleaned and deveined
4 cups hot water
1 (12 oz) bag shredded mild Cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 400F; spray a 3 quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, mix the chicken pieces with the salt, paprika and black pepper.  In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat; sauté chicken for five minutes.

Into a large bowl, mix together partially cooked chicken and remaining ingredients, except the Cheddar cheese.  Pour mixture into baking dish and cover with aluminum foil; bake for 15 minutes (shrimp will turn slightly opaque).


Remove foil; spread cheese evenly over top of mixture; bake an additional 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Mary Cokenour