While we do love creating showstoppers and crowd pleasers here at CookingChew, every now and again, we want to go back to the basics and make something that reminds us of home. Something easy to make, delicious, and full of familiar and comforting flavors.
What’s more comforting and homier than chicken and rice? A meal of fluffy rice and succulent chicken is something that everyone has grown up with, and after a long day, it’s just one of the best and easiest meals to make.
In fact, we’re willing to bet that you’ve got a favorite easy chicken casserole recipe in your recipe collection right now. However, if you don’t, we’ve got a great recipe for you to try!
How to toast brown rice?
Toasting brown rice is the same as toasting regular white rice. You can toast brown rice dry, with a little oil on the stovetop, or in the oven.
If you’re going to toast the brown rice dry, you want to rinse the rice first to remove as much as the starch as possible. You can place the rice in a bowl and pour clean water in it. Swirl the rice and drain the cloudy water. Repeat until the water becomes clear.
After rinsing the rice, place in a skillet on medium heat. Cook for around six minutes until you smell a nutty aroma coming from the rice. Make sure that you stir continuously to prevent the rice from burning. After toasting the rice, you can use it as directed in the recipe.
TOASTING WITH OIL
If you want to toast your brown rice with a little bit of flavor, you can do it by toasting the rice in a skillet with aromatics such as garlic and onions. Heat a little bit of oil (vegetable or olive oil works best) until the oil is smoking. Add your finely chopped aromatics and sauté until lightly browned. Mix in the washed rice and stir with a spatula until the rice is evenly coated with oil and aromatics. Toast for six minutes until you smell the nutty aroma.
TOASTING IN THE OVEN
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the washed brown rice in a single layer on a lined rimmed baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven. Toast for around 12 minutes or until you get a nutty aroma.
How to sauté red onion?
Keep in mind that red onions cook much quicker and become softer compared to white onions, so sautéing them is a little different. To sauté red onions, cut them into ½ inch-thick slices, without separating the slices. In a skillet, heat up vegetable oil and place the onion slices. Season with salt and pepper, and cover skillet, reducing the heat to medium-low. Cook the onion slices for 15 minutes, turning occasionally. They’re done when they have become soft, tender, and golden brown.
Caramelizing red onions makes them very soft, sweet, and flavorful!
What does deglaze a pan mean?
After frying or searing food in a pan, you’ll normally see little bits of browned food stuck to the surface of the pan. Don’t throw those away; those have so much flavor! The secret to getting to those flavors is by deglazing.
Deglazing a pan means to add a little liquid such as stock, wine, or cream to help remove those bits in the pan and impart the flavor into the liquid. After deglazing, you’ll end up with a truly flavorful liquid that will give your final recipe a powerful punch!
Do I cook rice before adding to a casserole?
No, you don’t have to cook rice before adding it to a casserole. Since you’re going to be cooking the rice for a long time, it will cook evenly and thoroughly. Plus, if you’ve toasted the rice AND added deglazing liquid, it’s going to soak up all those yummy flavors!
What do you eat with a chicken casserole?
Chicken casseroles are hearty and filling, so if you’re pairing it with other dishes, you want something bright and light! You can pair this easy chicken and rice casserole recipe with a crunchy Asian slaw or some fresh ginger green beans!
How long can you keep a chicken casserole in the fridge?
After making your casserole, it can keep to around 3-4 days in your fridge.
Our CookingChew Cooking Tips:
1. Invest in good, high-quality bakeware
Since you’re going to be cooking low and slow for this one, you should find the top-notch bakeware. High-quality bakeware might be more expensive, but it retains heat better, cooks more evenly, and you can use it safely for years to come!
2. Always check the freshness of the chicken
It’s easy to get sick from spoiled chicken, so you should always make sure that you get fresh, good-quality chicken. Raw chicken does not have a long shelf life and it can quickly spoil if stored or butchered improperly.
3. Season every step!
The key to a good casserole is making sure that you season every ingredient. It will take you a little bit more time and effort to toast your rice and caramelize your red onions, but the result will be worth the trouble, we promise!
4. Get that Crust!
When frying the chicken breast, you want to get that golden-brown crust for optimum flavor. Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel before cooking them. Don’t keep turning them while cooking so that they’ll develop that nice crust as they cook. The crispy skin is the pef
Easy and Tasty Chicken and Rice Casserole
This delicious chicken and rice casserole is going to become a family favorite because it’s so easy to make! With a little bit of effort, you’re going to end up with a satisfying and filling dish that’s sure to have everyone asking for seconds.
This delicious chicken and rice casserole is going to become a family favorite because it’s so easy to make!
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 4-oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ½ medium red onion
- 1 c. long-grain brown rice, rinsed and drained
- 3 c. chicken broth, preferably organic
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350⁰F and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with 1 t. of olive oil. Set aside.
- Heat remaining olive oil in large frying pan over medium heat. Add chicken breasts and season with salt and black pepper. Cook until golden brown, 3-4 minutes per side.
- Add onion and rice to prepared baking dish. Season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Pour chicken broth over the rice and arrange seared breasts on top. Lay the breasts side by side, making sure that they don’t overlap.
- Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.
- Uncover and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the rice is cooked through.
- Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before fluffing the rice with a fork.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Can I Use Other Types of Onions?
Yes, you can use other types of onions with this recipe. You can use Vidalia onions, as they also become soft, tender, and sweet when caramelized.
After cooking, you can also sprinkle some chopped green onions on top for a little bit of added crunch and freshness!
What Other Liquids Can I Use for Deglazing My Pan?
You can use other liquids to deglaze the pan. You can use white wine, as white wine works well with onions and gives a bright flavor to the chicken dish.
You can also use some cream to give the final dish a creamy texture!
We love, love, love this chicken and rice casserole recipe! If you loved this one, you can also try this deliciously herby kale and leek chicken casserole