That's how I feel about Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole.
Today I told Phil that I think I can eat this dish every single day, and never get tired of it. He agreed. And that, my friends, is a compliment I take very seriously. WE LOVE this dish. And today . . . I am going to tell you all about it.
Because this dish is not like your usual Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole.
No, not at all. This dish . . . is so much more.
It's like . . . coming home. Like . . . a good book, a great glass of wine, that perfect hair-cut, and that first kiss. It's like the first snow fall, and the sound of wood crackling in the fireplace. It's like brown paper packages tied up with string. And YES, it IS one of my favorite things.
Say it with me, "Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole."
CBRC is one of those dishes that when you hear what's in it, you can't tell if you are going to love it or hate it. I can honestly tell you that in all the years I have made it, I have never ever met anyone who hated it. And while I do surround myself with polite people who you may think would never tell me they disliked a dish of mine, I will tell you that while polite - the people in my life are quite opinionated and would have no problem telling me if they didn't like it. CBRC . . . it's just THAT GOOD!
Ok . . . let me break it down for you . . .
The ingredients. And yes, this is where the whole "questioning" comes into play. The ingredients are pretty much as shown here, with the addition of chicken and some buttered bread crumbs.
The recipe I'm giving you here is for a 9x13 dish, but this can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd, and I'm tell you . . . the crowd will LOVE it!
- Cooked Chicken (I usually make up a package or two of chicken breasts, although it really depends on how big of a pan you want to make. Lately, I'll stop at Costco and pick up one of their Rotisserie Chickens instead of cooking up my own meat. It just depends on how much time I have, and how hungry we are!)
- 16 oz. bag of frozen broccoli - cooked slightly, but not completely (you will be baking the casserole in the oven, so do not cook the broccoli all the way - or it will become too mushy. You can also use FRESH broccoli, which is what I usually do. Again, depends on what I have on hand, or what I have time for.)
- 1 can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup
- 2 cans of Campbell's Cream of Celery Soup
- 3/4 c of Hellman's Mayonnaise
- 1 T of lemon juice
- a dash of Mrs. Dash table seasoning (I use the one with the yellow cap - and give it two generous shakes into the bowl).
- 2 c shredded cheddar cheese
- butter bread crumbs for topping
- white rice
While the chicken is cooking, I cook up the broccoli. You want to make sure the broccoli is lovely bite size pieces, too. It just makes it easier to serve and eat. After the broccoli is cooked (and remember, do NOT cook it until it is soft - you want the broccoli to have a bit of a crunch to it), grease the bottom of your casserole dish (or glass 9x13 pan) with a little bit of butter, and spread the broccoli on the bottom layer, as shown.
Next, spread the cut up chicken on top of the broccoli.
In a large bowl, mix up the cream of chicken, cream of celery, mayonnaise, lemon juice and Mrs. Dash until well blended. Then, spread on top of the chicken and broccoli, as shown.
Oh, LORDY . . . . this is getting SOOOOO GOOOD!!!!
This is how the dish looks when heading to the oven.
You'll want to bake it at a 350 degree oven, for about 35-40 minutes.
While it has about 5 minutes left in the oven, I take about a 1/2 stick of butter and melt it over the stove, then add whatever bread crumbs I have in the pantry into the melted butter until they have a lovely crumbly consistency. While the butter is melting for the bread crumbs, I make up a BIG POT of white rice to serve the casserole over. We like Minute Rice, and you can never have enough rice, so don't be afraid to make a good amount.
When your 40 minutes are up on the casserole, pull it out of the oven and top it with the shredded cheddar cheese and then the butter bread crumbs, then throw it back in the oven for another 10 or 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
And . . . . here it is . . . the final version . . . all ready for eating!
I will tell you that you HAVE to use Campbell's soup and Hellman's Mayonnaise (Lordy, Miracle Whip will NOT work here!) I often use the 98% Fat Free soup and the Lite Mayo . . . and it works just fine.
This recipe was one my Mom used to make for us when we were younger, and we loved it. I am so glad that my kids and my husband love it just as much, and it has become a favorite our home, too. It is a major comfort meal, and one that we LOVE on a chilly fall day . . . LIKE TODAY!!!
So, stock up and make it for your family! I'd love it if you did. And come back and tell me about it!!!
Wishing you Peace, my friends.