Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

Ingredients
2 Tablespoons butter
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, or 2 cups diced rotisserie chicken
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
Salt/Pepper, to taste
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 cups white long grain rice, uncooked
2 cups fresh broccoli florets, uncooked
10.5 oz. Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
½ cup milk
½ cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, separated

Optional Seasonings

1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Casserole Topping

1 cup Ritz crackers, crushed
2 Tablespoons melted butter

Instructions
Note: This recipe is designed to allow you to prepare all of the casserole ingredients in one pot before transferring to a casserole dish for baking. Before you begin, refer to your rice package for the amount of liquid (we’ll use chicken broth) and cooking time. I use white long grain rice and the cooking time/liquid amount below works perfectly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with Italian seasoning and desired amount of salt and pepper.

Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat until melted. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Note: This step is not needed if using a cooked rotisserie chicken.

Add the chicken broth, olive oil, and rice to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.

Cover tightly and cook for 6 minutes.

Add the broccoli and replace the cover. Cook for 9 more minutes. Refrain from stirring.

Turn off the heat and leave the cover on. Let the rice stand for 10 minutes, do not stir. Any rice on the bottom of the pot will release.

Add the cooked chicken, soup, milk, sour cream, optional seasonings, and half of the cheddar cheese.

Add to a lightly greased 9 x 13 casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.

Cover and bake for 15 minutes.

Add the Topping:

Melt the butter and crumble up the crackers. Combine to form the topping for the casserole.

Top the casserole with the crumbled cracker topping and bake uncovered for 10 additional minutes.

Let the casserole sit for 5 minutes prior to serving.

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