We love this simple Chicken and Rice Casserole recipe!
Our Chicken and Rice Casserole makes one of our favorite “go to” main dishes.
Moist chicken pieces cooked with a lucious rice mixture is a comfort food all year round. No one who has eaten it
at our home has been able to eat only one helping. Even if it is a second, small dollop of more rice or snagging
another piece of chicken, our guests cannot seem to stop at one helping, but the recipe makes plenty so you won’t
run short of food.
Over the years I have tweaked the original recipe that I got from Mom (who got it
from a friend). The original version uses less liquid making a firmer, although still moist and very
delicious, rice. In this recipe, we treat the rice almost like a risotto, but you don’t have to watch closely as it
bakes in the oven. We add chicken broth periodically as the rice cooks, resulting in a creamy rice with lots of
We like to use chicken thighs or leg quarters (leg and thigh together) for the
casserole because the pieces stay so moist. The original recipe instructions called for the chicken pieces to be
cooked on top of the rice. Many times the chicken would sink into the uncooked rice and neither the chicken nor the
rice would brown properly. The rice also absorbed too much of the chicken fat and tasted greasy. We did like how
the chicken flavored the rice, however. A happy compromise was to trim the fat from 4-6 of the chicken pieces and
cook them on top of the rice to flavor it but limit the fat.
Since we always seemed to end up with more rice than chicken, we cook more chicken
in a separate pan alongside the casserole. If we have leftover chicken and rice, we debone the chicken and add the
meat into the rice. When it is re-heated for another meal, everything stays moist.
I have made this recipe in the oven, on the stove, and in a pressure cooker. It
turned out well any way I’ve done it, but the stovetop and the pressure cooker methods both require more monitoring
and stirring to keep the rice from forming a crust on the bottom of the pan and burning. It still makes a great
meal, but I prefer the more hands-off oven method. If you choose not to add the additional chicken broth during the
oven cooking, you will end up with a very tasty and moist meal. We like the rice to be creamy, so I add the broth a
couple of times during the cooking process.
8-12 chicken thighs, leg quarters, or whole cut
2-3 cups chicken broth,
1.Preheat oven to
350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.Open soup cans
and combine in a large saucepan. Stir in uncooked rice.
3.Re-use one of
the soup cans and fill with milk. Pour into soup/rice mixture in pan.
tablespoons of the butter into the mixture and cook on medium-low heat until butter melts
completely, stirring frequently to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the
butter is melted, turn off heat and pour rice mixture from the pan into a ovenproof casserole
or baking dish. Immediately drop remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter into the hot pan to melt
6.Add 4 or so
pieces of chicken to the top of the rice. Pour melted butter over top of the chicken pieces of top
of the rice.
mixture into oven.
8.Warm 2-3 cups
of chicken broth in pan over low heat or in microwave.
chicken in ovenproof baker. Put this into the oven about 30 minutes after the rice mixture was put
approximately 1-½ hours, adding ½ - ¾ cup of chicken broth to the rice mixture every 20-30 minutes,
if desired. The rice is perfectly delicious if you do not add the broth, but adding it makes the
rice extra creamy, which we love. Stir it slightly to keep from disturbing the chicken pieces on
top of the rice each time you add broth.
chicken and top of rice is nicely browned, test the rice. It should be soft but with some texture
to it. If it is still slightly crunchy in the center, add a little liquid and cook it some more
until it is done.