I know Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and perhaps I should focus on a Thanksgiving appropriate recipe, but whatever man! I'm just happy it's finally gotten cold enough to warrant baking things such as casseroles in the oven. Honestly, that's why there was a dearth of food posts over the summer. It was really just too dang hot. But now! Now I can turn the oven on again!
This dish combines some of my favorite dinner staples - chicken, broccoli, rice, and cheese sauce. Not to mention some delicious breadcrumbs to top it all off. How can you go wrong?
To be honest, I didn't season the sauce enough as I should have, but that's all a matter of perspective, I suppose. It was really hard to tell how seasoned it was when it was almost too hot to taste, so that's why I didn't get it seasoned quite as aggressively as normally would have. Nonetheless, it still turned out quite tasty!
I will say - this was a bit of a long process! First you have to get your meat and your rice cooked ahead of time. Of course, if you already have some leftovers lying around, then it will be super easy. What's nice is, this is all made from scratch, so you don't have to worry about any preservatives or other questionable stuff in the sauce. The original recipe also called for mushrooms in the sauce, but as my boyfriend and I are not fans of mushrooms, I simply omitted them from the recipe.
Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Casserole
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 8 ounces (about 2 cups) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups (3-4 breasts) cubed cooked chicken
- 4 cups (about 1 pound) broccoli florets
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup plain/Panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 400F. Butter a 9x13" casserole dish.
- In a large pan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour and cook for one minute, whisking constantly. In a slow, steady, stream, whisk in the milk. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer.
- You will see it has started to thicken. Whisk in the cheddar cheese a handful at a time, making sure it is completely melted after each handful. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
- Add in the chicken, broccoli and rice and stir until combined evenly. Pour into your prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle your 2 ounces of cheddar cheese on top.
- In a small bowl, mix the melted butter with the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the top.
- Bake until browned and bubbly, about 15-20 minutes. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.