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Easy Chicken Rice Casserole

4.9 from 10 reviews

One pan and just 15 minutes of prep time means you can have this cheesy chicken and rice casserole dinner on the table in less than an hour. And the best part is it's made with real ingredients, ie: NO condensed soup necessary!! 

Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large oven safe saute pan over medium high heat.
  2. Combine paprika, garlic powder and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Sprinkle about 2/3 of the seasoning on the skin side of the chicken. 
  3. Sear chicken in oil, skin side down, for about 3 minutes or until a dark gold brown crust forms. Add remaining seasoning to the underside of the chicken (which is now facing up).
  4. Flip chicken over and sear the other side for about 2 minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside. At this point the chicken will just be seared on the outside, not cooked through. It will finish cooking with the rice in the oven.
  5. With heat still at medium high add onion, carrot, celery and a couple large pinches of salt and pepper to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently for about 8 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic, thyme and rosemary and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. 
  7. Then add broth, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese and rice. Stir to combine. 
  8. Next nestle chicken thighs into rice mixture. Cover and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the chicken is cooked through. 
  9. Broil on high for 1-2 minutes to get the chicken skins nice and crispy again. 
  10. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!

Notes

For the most flavor, use bone in skin on chicken thighs. However if you only have skinless chicken breast on hand, I recommend following the recipe directions in the same way, but baking the rice mixture (covered) in the oven for about 20 minutes and THEN adding the seared chicken breasts to the rice, covering it again and baking for another 20-30 minutes.

If you don't have fresh thyme feel free to sub dried! I would recommend about a 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme in place of the fresh in this recipe. If you're a big thyme LOVER then go for a full teaspoon of dried. I usually opt for fresh thyme in this dish but dried will work just as well!

It's tempting, I know, but resist the urge to peek while this casserole is baking. The moisture from the broth and cream is going to cook the chicken through and make your rice nice and delicate in texture. You can safely bake it for at least 40 minutes before giving the rice a quick taste to see if it's done. If it's not quite cooked through then cover it and check it again in 5 minutes or so.

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