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!!
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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