This is one of those “kitchen sink” casseroles. You know, the kind you can use to clean our your pantry and your fridge? Toss in everything but the kitchen sink? I’m giving out the recipe for the base, but feel free to add in whatever you have handy! Veggies, random pasta noodles, ground beef instead of chicken, peppers, onion, whatever you have on hand!
(yeah, I know, it doesn’t photograph too prettily)
What I like about this recipe soo much is that it doesn’t call for any of those nasty, processed, condensed, “cream of crap” soups for the sauce. I know you can make a homemade ‘cream of xxxx’ substitution, but for this recipe, you can skip that step all together. Phew!
I DO highly recommend setting up your Mise en Place on this recipe – especially if you have a few kids running around that will distract you during the processes. It’s a very easy recipe, but also easy to get overwhelmed when distracted every 30 seconds by those kids you love soo dearly…..
Alright! So, what you need for the basic Chicken and Rice Bake with Bacon and Cheese is:
3 cups of cooked chicken. Or you can use one whole rotisserie style chicken.
3 1/2 cups of chicken stock
3 1/2 cups of milk
1 1/2 cup of rice
2 cups of grated cheese, split – I prefer cheddar for this recipe
1/2-1 cup of cooked bacon, crumbled up
4 TBSP butter
4 TBSP flour
3 cloves garlic, freshly chopped
1 tsp Seasoning Salt
1. Melt your butter in a large stock pot and sautee up your garlic. Add seasoned salt and pepper to taste and then add the flour and mix well to make a roux.
2. Stir in the milk and stock and add 1 1/2 cups of the grated cheese. Let it cook until it simmers and then give it a taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If you made your own stock, you might need to add a little salt here. If it’s a store bought stock, you have more than enough salt already.
3. Add in the rice and let it simmer until the rice is nice and tender and has absorbed most of the liquid roughly 20 minutes.. (Stir occasionally).
4. Preheat oven to 350.
5. Add the chicken and bacon to the stock pot and mix everything together well. Pour it into a 9×13 casserole and put the rest of the cheese on top.
6. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly.