ONE POT BROCCOLI, CHICKEN AND RICE CASSEROLE

This delicious one-pot casserole is another easy and quick way to feed your family. It takes only thirty minutes to throw together using simple ingredients. Make this incredibly satisfying casserole from scratch and serve it right away. Or make this ahead and microwave when ready to serve.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons (30grams) unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

500grams (1 pound) chicken thigh, cut into bite-size pieces

2.5 tablespoons flour (or 1 ½ tablespoons cornflour/cornstarch)

2 c. (500 ml) milk (I use low fat)

2 c. (500 ml) chicken broth

1 1/4 c. (225grams) long-grain white rice, uncooked

1 teaspoon dried thyme (or other herbs of choice)

Salt and pepper

1 large head of broccoli, broken/cut into small florets (400 – 500grams/14 oz – 1 pound)

2 c. (200grams) shredded mozzarella or cheddar (or other cheese of choice)

Finely chopped parsley, optional garnish

How to make One Pot Broccoli, Chicken and Rice Casserole

Step 1: In a pot, melt the butter and heat the oil over high heat. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and cook for about a minute. Add the chicken and continue to cook until white.

Step 2: Adjust the heat to medium before adding the flour. Then, stir for about a minute. Add half of the milk, stirring constantly. Once the milk has been completely incorporated into the flour, add the remaining milk, and stir. Now, add the broth along with the rice, thyme, and a just pinch of salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover, then adjust the heat to low and cook for about 12 minutes.

Step 3: Uncover, then immediately add the broccoli, pushing the pieces down so they are partly submerged into the mixture. Put the lid on again and cook for about 3 minutes until the broccoli is just cooked.

Step 4: Prepare the grill/broiler.

Step 5: Remove the cover and stir in half of the cheese. Smooth the surface, then top with the rest of the cheese. Place in the preheated grill/broiler until the cheese has melted. Alternately, you can simply cover the pan and let the cheese melt.

Step 6: Before serving, garnish with parsley if desired. Enjoy immediately!

Notes:

I prefer thigh over breasts are they are fattier and do not dry out even on high heat. Or you can use ground meat.

For this recipe, long grain and medium grain rice are ideal because they are less sticky. You can also use short grain rice if desired. Even basmati or jasmine rice will work well in this recipe, too. Although I have not tried this recipe with brown rice I think it’ll work too. Cook the brown rice for about 40 minutes over low heat and add the broccoli at the end. And you might need to add more water.

I would not suggest using risotto or paella rice as the liquid ratio of this recipe is not suited to these types of rice.

For a non-rice alternative, you can try using quinoa, cauliflower rice, or other non-rice alternatives.

If using frozen broccoli, thaw it first and make sure to drain all excess liquid.

For this recipe, you can use any melting cheese.

Do not cook the chicken all the way through, and never let the bottom of the pot go too brown as it will discolour the sauce. Just get some colour on the chicken.

Store any leftovers in the fridge and reheat when ready to serve. This casserole reheats well because it is saucy.

To make this ahead, follow the recipe to the point where you stir in the cheese. Cover the casserole and allow it to cool. Once cool, sprinkle the cheese on top and place it in the fridge. To melt the cheese when serving, simply place it in the microwave.

NUTRITION FACTS:

Serving: 524g | Calories: 576cal (29%) | Carbohydrates: 47g (16%) | Protein: 32g (64%) | Fat: 28g (43%) | Saturated Fat: 11g (69%) | Cholesterol: 120mg (40%) | Sodium: 392mg (17%) | Potassium: 785mg (22%) | Fiber: 3g (13%) | Sugar: 7g (8%) | Vitamin A: 1205IU (24%) | Vitamin C: 92.1mg (112%) | Calcium: 362mg (36%) | Iron: 2.1mg (12%)

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