Chicken Casserole with Rice…

It seems some people think you have time to do more when you work from home and the opposite is true. There perception is you can keep the house clean, cook more, and all those other homely tasks. NOT…I haven’t been cooking at all!

Inspiration

Part of my motivation for cooking is my family.  Regardless of how much work I may have, I enjoy pleasing them through cooking.  Since I have not been living with them for almost a year, that motivation had disappeared.

My granddaughter is now with me in my environment for the first time in three years, vs. my visiting her in her environment.  I find all the little things I like to buy for her and cook for her are back, and I am loving it.

Today, I wanted to cook something that was different.  It needed to be easy, inexpensive and quick.  There were chicken legs in the freezer, which I normally don’t cook, but since it was a family pack, I figured it would be worth fixing and we would have leftovers. I thought I could put them on the grill or bake them.

Marinade Overnight

I thawed them, seasoned them and thought...this needs to be easy.  )If you have time, season your chicken the night before and let it marinade overnight in the refrigerator)

I decided I wanted to use them in a casserole with soup.  It has been a long time since I cooked a casserole, and  I needed to research and see what kinds of recipes were out there.  I looked at several…all of them called for chicken breast.  They either used cream of chicken, mushroom, or celery soup.

Most recipes suggested, mixing the soup with the rice and pour over the chicken, bake.  I decided to do a few things differently.

Ingredients:

Family pack of chicken legs (about 12)Before baking

2 cups of rice

1 can each of cream of chicken, celery, and mushroom

2 1/2 cups of milk

1 package of onion soup mix (the kind you get to mix with sour cream for dip)

4 cloves of crushed fresh garlic

1/4 c of bell pepper

2T of red onion

2T butter

1 cup of monterey jack cheese

About 1 T of creole seasoning

About 1 T of Sylvia’s Secret Seasoning

About 2 T of freshly ground pepper.

Process

In a bowl, mix all the soup, seasoning, cheese,  bell pepper, onion, garlic, and rice.  Pour the milk in the empty soup cans and stir to get the rest of the soup out of the cans and pour into the bowl.  In a deep dish (I used tin) place the chicken.  Pour the soup mixture over the chicken. Sprinkle the onion soup mix over the top. Cut the butter up and place on top as well.

Bake at 350 for about 2 hours.  Cover for the first hour and 1/2.  Uncover an cook for 30 more minutes.  If the rice is not soft, cover and cook for about 20 more minutes.

Very quick and easy, very tasty dish.  One addition I will make next time is add about 1/2 cup of sour cream. Yummy…

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OMG…Cheesy Potato Casserole…a different twist

This morning I wanted to have something different for breakfast.  I then remembered the cheesy potato casserole that Cracker Barrel has.  It is soo good and I had been meaning to look for a recipe online.  The search began.

I found a recipe that seems like it would taste like it BUT I don’t have any creamy soup.  THAT was not going to defeat me! The recipe is from 2001 and there are comments and suggestions, check them out.

I looked in the cabinet and I found chicken stock and McCormicks original country gravy packet.  Hmmmm.  I decided I was gonna make this my own recipe.

I used the chicken stock instead of water and made the gravy.  Instead of regular sour cream, I used mexican crema. I added some bell pepper and it is da bomb!

Here’s my recipe:

Ingredients

3 medium gold potatoes (you could use frozen hash browns)

1/4 cup of creamy

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup of cheddar cheese

1/4 cup of mexican cheese blend

1/2 cup chopped onions

1/4 cup of bell pepper

Sea salt for taste

Cook the potatoes for 8 minutes and cool in cold water.  Shred into a bowl.  (I keep the skin on) Shred and add the cheese.  Add the bell pepper and onions.  In a small pan, follow the instructions for the gravy mix, but use the chicken broth instead of the water.  I would add about 1/8 of cup more so it won’t be too thick.  Pour the gravy in the bowl with all of the other ingredients and mix gently.  Add the sour cream.  In a glass dish spray it or grease the sides to prevent sticking.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes..brown the top a little.

If you don’t have any type of cream of soup or package like I used, you probably could make a white sauce with flour and butter too!  That would have been my next step if I had not used the packaged gravy.

Sounds good huh….Any other suggestions, let me know!