Monday, November 8, 2010

Parmesan Chicken Casserole

This recipe is my pick for Light Bites. It looked and sounded like a good fall comfort meal with a bit of zing. But, I will be interested to see what the other bloggers in the group thought of it, because I don't think I did it right. On close inspection, the recipe seems like there must be a mistake - it involves over two cups of liquid absorbing into the rice during only 15 minutes in the oven?! Doesn't seem right, but then again, it also says to use boil-in-a-bag rice which I have never cooked with and didn't intend to. I don't mean to be a rice Snobby McSnobberson, but boil-in-a-bag, really? Not in my house. Of course there is the possibility that said rice is somehow magic and can make 2 cups of liquid absord in 15 minutes, if so my bad. Instead, I used par-cooked rice and added less liquid to the casserole itself, I had to cook it for 50 minutes and even so the dish was a bit watery. Next time I'll use a bit of thickener in the liquid to it will be a lovely sauce...I say "next time" because this dish was SO yummy, definately a do-over is in order. Instead of plain brown rice I used a combo of red, brown, and wild, and added some red peppers and celery when sauteeing the onion. I also strayed from the recipe by seasoning and browning my chicken before adding to the dish. It seemed like the right thing to do. See the pool of liquid on the left side of the rice? Yeah baby, that liquid will next time be saucified.

Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserolemodified from Cooking Light

Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1 celery rib, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup mixed rice (dry)
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup half and half cream
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
2 tsp cornstarch or flour

1. Add 1 cup of chicken broth to the rice in a small pot, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer gently until all the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and celery to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add garlic, red pepper, 1/2 tsp thyme, and some black pepper; sauté about 8 more minutes, until vegetables are soft and onion is translucent.
3. Add wine and vegetable mixture to rice; cook until liquid almost evaporates. Remove from heat and spoon rice mixture in an even layer into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
4. Season chicken thighs with 1/2 tsp thyme, salt and pepper, and a dash of cayenne. Brown both sides in a pan on high heat (chicken does not need to be cooked through). Place thighs on top of rice mixture.
5. Combine remaining broth, cream,1/2 tsp thyme and some pepper, stirring well; I am thinking that at this point adding a bit of cornstarch or flour would be beneficial, maybe 2 tsp or so. Pour over chicken and rice mixture.
6. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes to melt cheese.


  1. Kudos for not using the "boil in the bag" rice and using a more healthy mix. I've found that brown rice and wild rice take MUCH longer to cook, but are so much better for you.

    Great recipe!

  2. Hi Sherylyn,
    I’m one of the editors at and I just wanted to let you know I have linked to your recipe on our site. You can see the project here.

    We would love to add more of your recipes to our site. I would like to talk with you about permission to link more of your recipes in the future!


    Blair-- editor for