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A great casserole, full of flavors and very easy. It freezes well too. You can use common breakfast sausage in place of the Italian sausage. I usually use the ground sausage, not the links.
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- tomato juice
- 1 1⁄2 cups uncooked rice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 1⁄4 cups shredded swiss cheese
- 1 1⁄4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 whole chicken breasts, halved, boned ans skinned
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- Drain the tomatoes well, reserving the liquid. Measure the liquid and add tomato juice to make 3 3/4 cups liquid.
- In a large saucepan, add the tomato liquid and bring it to a boil. Stir in the rice, butter and salt. Cover tightly and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from the heat ans stir in the oregano and crushed fennel seed. Let stand, covered about 5 minutes. (Leave uncovered if rice is too moist).
- While the rice is cooking, cut the chicken into chunks. Cook in the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until cooked through about 3-5 minutes. Remove chicken from the skillet with a slotted spoon; add the sausage and green bell pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sausage is cooked through. Remove from the heat, tip the pan and remove the excess fat.
- Add the tomatoes to the skillet with the chicken, mixing well. Spoon the rice into a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.
- Add the chicken to the sausage and peppers, and spoon the mixture evenly over the cheese. (The dish can be refrigerated at this point).
- Bake covered in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with the swiss cheese, return to the over and bake about 2 minutes more, just until the cheese melts. (If the dish has been refrigerated, bake about 45 minutes before adding the remaining cheese).