I could eat a whole pan of this. ..I've found that the texture of the sauce comes out grainy when I use pre-shredded bags of cheese - for best results, use a good quality block of cheese and grate it yourself. ..I hope you enjoy this! It's pure comfort food to me.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs cooked chicken, shredded
- 1 (1 lb) bag frozen broccoli florets or 1 (1 lb) bag frozen broccoli cuts
- 1 1⁄2 cups raw white rice
For the sauce
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese or 8 ounces cracker barrel white cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Start the broccoli and rice:.
- Cook broccoli and rice as per the package instructions.
- When broccoli is done, drain, let cool and dice.
- Mix chicken, broccoli, and rice in a greased 9 x 13 pan.
- For the sauce:.
- Heat half and half in microwave til bubbles appear around sides of bowl, but it does not boil. Set aside.
- Melt butter in small saucepan.
- Add flour and stir crazily til incorporated but not browned.
- Add half and half.
- Bring mixture to a boil, whisking continuously.
- Reduce heat, and gradually add cheese, whisking to incorporate, til melted.
- Add cream of mushroom soup gradually, whisking til incorporated.
- Pour sauce over the dry ingredients and combine well.
- Season to taste with salt.
- Cover casserole with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- Uncover and let bake 15 minutes.
- Garnish with paprika.
This was very tasty. I like the idea of making a cheese sauce instead of just adding the shredded cheese. I made some changes for my taste. I sauteed onions and garlic and added it to the mixture. I steamed the broccoli until it was crisp tender to prevent it from turning to mush while baking. I did make the cheese sauce with a shredded cheese blend from a bag. If the sauce is made properly, there will be no "grainy" texture. The flour and butter needs to be cooked for a few minutes to ensure there is no raw taste. The half-and-half must be add at room temperature. Stir gently until the sauce can coat the back of a spoon. You can then add the cheese slowly and mix gently until well blended. Thus a perfect cheese sauce. This a great comfort food that I enjoyed as a child.
The kids and I thought it was terrific, great for nights when you want comfort carbs. My husband thought it was on the bland side (but still he went back for seconds). I made half the recipe and we still had left over with our family of five. I made it with whole milk instead of the half and half because that's what I had on hand, and it was still very much creamy and good. I'll make this again (maybe when my husband is out of town and I just need the kids to eat and go to bed!) It was very easy to make, another plus. Thanks!!
Making homemade cheese sauce adds a great touch. I add a little more seasoning to it, and usually use cream of chicken, and sharp cheddar cheese. Great recipe