Monday, July 21, 2014

Broccoli, Bacon, Chicken, Rice Casserole

This recipe encompasses the majority of my favorite foods. It's cheesy, has bacon and chicken (the only two meat products I really like), and rice. While I'm a lover of all things veggie, broccoli isn't necessarily my number one choice, but it is my husbands so I will gladly add it to most recipes.

When I first decided to make this recipe for dinner the night that I did, I had not intended to share it on here. So I apologize in advance that there won't be a picture added of the ingredients. I ended up getting off work early one day (which is SO very rare and exciting!) and wanted to make something a little more involved than my usual week night meals. I hadn't made this in a while and decided it was time to make it have a comeback in our week night menu. Also, to give credit where credit is due, I did not come up with this on my own. I found the recipe on good old Pinterest a year or two ago and have adjusted it here and there to mine and my husbands taste. That's the best part of cooking after all! I got home and just started cooking and then decided I wanted to share. Anywho, here are the suspects for this creation:

 4 tablespoons butter
4 Slices of bacon
2 Chicken breast
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 cups chopped broccoli
3 cups cooked brown rice
1/4 cup chopped onion (I use purple)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups chicken broth (I prefer low sodium)
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups of cheddar cheese (also is great with pepper jack!)
Salt and pepper to taste

As usual I start by prepping everything so I can just cook as I go and not worry about chopping and having to stir something at the same time. So I started by cutting the bacon slices into cubes, as well as the chicken. Then chop up your broccoli. You don't have to chop it super small, just enough that it will mix easily in your casserole dish. Chop you onion and if you're using fresh garlic mince that too. I recommend going ahead and opening your can of tomatoes too so you can just dump them in the pan when the time comes.

 Now that you have everything set up and ready to go, take out two pans and put the cubed bacon in one pan, and 2 tablespoons olive oil along with the chicken in the other pan. Cook both of these all the way though and then put them aside till a little later. I put mine on a paper towel to absorb the grease and excess oil.
 MMmm, bacon : )
 Once the meats are cooked use the pan you cooked the chicken in and add 1 more tablespoon olive oil along with the broccoli and onions and garlic. In case you were wondering I did not clean out the pan after I cooked the chicken. I wanted to use the excess oil in the pan from the chicken so I didn't have to add as much to cook the veggies.
 While the veggies are cooking take out the casserole dish you plan on using and put the cooked brown rice, chicken and bacon in it. There is no need to grease this dish because it wont be going in the oven.
 When your broccoli and onions are cooked though add the can of tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Once the veggies are all cooked, add them to your casserole dish. Take out a medium size sauce pan and melt the butter.
 Once the butter is melted add the flour. It will get very thick and create almost a big lump in your pan. Take out your whisk and slowly add in your chicken broth while whisking the whole time. Once you have added all the broth whisk till all the lumps are out of the sauce and bring to a boil. Keep stirring so it doesn't burn to the bottom of your pan, you will notice the sauce thicken. Add in the cheese and salt and pepper. When the cheese is melted and the sauce it thick, pour over all the other ingredients in the casserole dish.
Stir well and Enjoy! 

Bon Appetit Friends!

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