I had a roommate long ago who used to make something like this. It was very comforting and I often try to recreate it, but haven’t quite figured it out.
This version does the trick though.
I started with some frozen chicken breasts. But don’t fret, we can use that to our advantage!
I popped them into a sauce pan with about 4 cups of water, give or take, with a shot of olive oil and about a table-spoon of “poultry seasoning” and a pinch of salt and then put them on to boil.
Meanwhile, I chopped up a nice size onion and browned it up in a bit of oil in a large skillet with a clove or two of chopped garlic.
When they were brown enough, I poured them into a good size casserole dish and spread them evenly on the bottom.
Then I fished the chicken breasts out of the boiling water ( which is now very much like chicken broth!) and popped them into the skillet with the onion flavours still lingering!
Brown the chicken breasts to give them a little colour and a lot more flavour.
While those are browning, wash and chop up a head of broccoli, in hind sight, I would have chopped it smaller than I did, but if you like bigger bits of brocoli feel free to chop them to the size you like. Spread them into the casserole over the onion.
I then added a few handfuls of fresh chopped parsley to help give it some colour.
Meanwhile back at the chicken……
As they browned up, I fished them out of the skillet one by one and sliced them into 2-3 bite size morsels then tossed them back in the skillet and repeated till all were cut. Then I added about 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to zing it up a bit.
Meanwhile, add two cups of short grain brown rice to the casserole dish and toss everything together making sure everything, especially rice, is coated with any juices or flavours going on in there.
Then arrange the chicken bits in the casserole in some sort of evenly distributed pattern.
Then get about four cups of the left over “chicken water” ( thought we were just gonna waste it didn’t you??) and pour it all over everything, making sure that most of the stuff, at least all the rice anyway, is submerged.
I think my roommate used to use a can of “cream of something” type soup in hers and that’s what made it so much more creamy or saucyer than mine. Feel free to experiment, but just make sure you have double the liquid to whatever the rice amount is.
Then cover tightly with tin foil and place into a 375 oven for at least 45 minutes.
After that time take it out and test the rice to see if it’s done. If it is, sprinkle the top of everything with a good few handfuls of your favorite grated cheese. I used smokey cheddar and then replace in the over UNCOVERED under the broiler and turn it up to 500 degrees and watch it closely. It should only take about 5 minutes or less to melt and brown the cheese.
Serve at will!
What’s good about this stuff is, it works well the next day as a work lunch, either re-heated ( but I don’t use micro waves) or at room temperature it is just as good!
Chicken and Broccoli Bake