December 11, 2008

Jen's Broccoli Cheese Chicken Bake

Our friends Pete and Michelle just had a baby, so we are going over to visit and bring them dinner tonight. Again, I have a busy day planned so poor Pete and Michelle are not going to get the benefits of a lot of effort on my part. A fancy dinner, this is not. Instead, they get a "trasherole". Okay, okay...I am sure it will be yummy. Just boring. This is a standard canned soup casserole. Nothing exciting, but all the food groups will be represented. There is really not even a true recipe, just a bunch of ingredients thrown into a baking dish and warmed through. Not my culinary best, for sure. I am hoping that Pete and Michelle are so tired from being first time parents, that they will think this dish is the best thing since sliced bread. (If you are a parent, you remember how it is with the first shower until four in the afternoon, bleary eyed feedings in the middle of the night, colic, etc..) I am hoping that hot food (that they did not have to prepare themselves), and their total exhaustion, will fool them into thinking that this meal is a dinner masterpiece. Cross your fingers for me!

Jen's Broccoli Cheese Chicken Bake

Cooking spray
2 cups of cooked brown rice
2 cooked chicken breasts, diced into bite sized pieces
1 package of frozen broccoli florets, steam-cooked
2 cans of condensed broccoli cheddar soup, undiluted
1 cup of shredded cheese (I use Monterrey Jack or Cheddar)
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon of melted butter

The following spices, at your discretion:
garlic powder
onion powder
minced onion
one or two your favorite seasoning blend (such as Mrs. Dash, Lemon Pepper, Poultry seasoning, Lawry's Seasoning, Adobo seasoning, etc.)
dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray and set aside. Cook brown rice, according to package directions, and place in bottom of greased casserole pan. Steam frozen broccoli in microwave, according to package directions. Place broccoli in an even layer over rice. Sprinkle with favorite spices and then top with shredded cheese. Add layer of diced, cooked chicken. Top chicken layer with cans of undiluted broccoli cheddar soup. In a separate small bowl, combine melted butter and bread crumbs. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture on top evenly and bake uncovered for 1/2 hour. Serve and enjoy!

The Result:
This was really, really good. I loved that it was a one-dish meal, with all the food groups in attendance. It was very kid-friendly (my son had seconds), and our friends seemed to enjoy it as well. They were happy to have the leftovers! All in all, this was an easy crowd-pleaser that I will keep in my casserole rotation. It was nice to visit with Pete and Michelle over a relaxed casual dinner...not to mention it was great to have a little baby time. I was able to get my snuggle and 'new baby smell' fix for the evening.

No comments: