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A different kind of chicken and rice casserole! It was very good. It does take some time to make, but it can be made and frozen ahead of time. The only concern I had with this recipe is that the rice-to-liquid ratio seemed off, and it made the rice really creamy, which tasted fine, but just know that you will have really creamy rice, insead of the regular singular grain rice taste. This is from The Best Make Ahead Recipe Cookbook from Cooks Illustrated.
2 3/4 cups corn chips crumb topping
- 6 ounces corn tortilla chips
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped medium
- 2 medium jalapeno chiles, seeds and ribs removed, minced
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 lbs chicken breasts, trimmed (about 5 breasts)
- 1 1⁄2 cups long grain white rice
- 8 ounces monterey jack pepper cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 1⁄2 cups frozen corn, thawed and drained
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
- Make the topping and set aside*.
- Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bell peppers, onions, jalapeños, and 1 t. salt and cook until softened, about 5 – 7 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in the broth and the cream.
- Add the chicken breasts, partially cover, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover completely, and cook until the chicken is done, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool.
- Stir the rice into the pot, cover and continue to cook over low heat, stirring often, until the rice has absorbed 25 minutes.
- When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size pieces.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the shredded chicken, cheese, black beans, corn and lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 that has been sprayed and sprinkle wit crumb topping.
- 8Bake the casserole in a 400 degree oven, uncovered, until the sauce is bubbling and and the crumbs are crisp, 25 to 35 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving. Serves 8.
- Corn Chip Topping: Combine 6 oz. of corn tortilla chips or Frito corn chips with 2 T. unsalted butter, melted in a food processor. Pulse to make coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Toss crumbs with 2 T. fresh minced parsley and season with pepper. Set aside.
- To store: Wrap the dish with plastic wrap and then foil and refrigerate up to two days or freeze up to one month (if frozen, the casserole must be thawed completely in the refrigerator, about 24 hours. To serve: Heat oven to 400. Unwrap the dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake until the casserole is bubbly and hot throughout, about 1 hour. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the crumbs are crisp, 25 to 35 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.