Sunday, November 25, 2012

Chicken (or leftover Turkey!), Rice, and Broccoli Bake

I hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving!

I think it's a little sad how quickly Thanksgiving day comes and goes... seeing as how countless hours are spent planning, shopping, preparing, cooking, and cleaning up Thanksgiving dinner.  But I hope you are at least still enjoying some delicious turkey and cranberry sandwiches or some leftover pumpkin pie?  I thought I might be able to make a couple recipes using Thanksgiving leftovers... but we didn't have any food left over.  Seriously! 

Even with a plump, 25 lb. turkey, I came up empty-handed in the 'leftover' department!  This year we had a bigger than normal crowd around the dinner table... with a bigger than normal appetite apparently! ;)  Leftovers or no leftovers, Thanksgiving was a really special and memorable day this year... full of laughter, happiness, and family (and even extended family!). 

Here is a recipe I would have used leftover turkey in if I had some!  The recipe is a cross between a good ole' Chicken and Rice Bake and a Chicken Divan.  This is basic one-dish, healthy comfort food at it's best!

Chicken, Rice, and Broccoli Bake

cups (12 oz. bag) broccoli florets, cooked 
2 cups cubed chicken, cooked (or leftover Thanksgiving turkey)
1 can (10.75 oz.) cream of chicken soup, 98% fat-free
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup uncooked brown rice or wild rice
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 
pinch of paprika

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, reduced fat
tablespoons dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted (or I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, light)

How to Make It:

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place the cooked broccoli and chicken into a 9x9 or 9 inch round baking dish.

I used broccoli and cauliflower

Stir the soup, water, rice and black pepper in a small bowl.  Pour the soup and rice mixture over the broccoli and chicken.  Sprinkle with paprika, then with the cheese. 

Stir the bread crumbs and butter in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the cheese.  Cover baking dish.

Bake for 40 minutes (removing the cover for the last 5 minutes) or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbling.  Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

YUM.  So whether you're using chicken or (leftover Thanksgiving) turkey, a Chicken, Rice, and Broccoli Bake is a healthy and easy one-dish meal. :)  I like that this is a very basic and versatile recipe too... you could add different vegetables to the bake like carrots, peas, or corn.  You could also change the cheese!  Tonight I used broccoli and added cauliflower... and used mozzarella cheese instead of cheddar (since that's all I had in the fridge).  Chicken (or turkey), rice, veggies, and cheese all come together is such harmony... you can have fun and mix it up!

Note: this dish could be a great Make-Ahead meal too... just put it in the freezer instead of the oven!  Defrost and heat later.

I suppose it's time to start my holiday baking.... Christmas will be here before we know it!  Eeek


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