Chicken and Rice Casserole With Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach
- Ready In:
- 1hr 25mins
- 4 slices white bread, quartered
- 1 cup pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb fresh spinach, washed & stemmed
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 1⁄2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 3 1⁄2 cups whole milk
- 1 1⁄2 cups long-grain white rice
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup sun-dried tomato packed in oil, drained, patted dry, and coarsely chopped
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
- For the topping: process bread, pine nuts and butter in a food processor until coarsely ground (about 10 1 second pulses). transfer to a bowl & mix in Parmesan cheese.
- For the filling: Preheat oven to 400*F.
- In a large heavy bottom pot (dutch oven), heat oil & garlic over medium high heat until garlic is lightly golden, stirring often, about 2 minutes.
- Add the spinach in handfuls and stir until just wilted, about 4 minutes. transfer spinach to a colander set in the sink and gently squeeze out excess moisture. Coarsely chop the spinach & set aside.
- Wipe the pot clean and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly, cook until golden, about 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in the broth and milk, bring to a simmer, whisking often.
- Add the rice, oregano, salt, and pepper. Return to a simmer then reduce heat to medium low.
- Cover and cook, stirring often, until rice has absorbed most of the liquid & is just tender, about 25 minutes.
- Add the chicken and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
- Off heat, stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, and spinach.
- Pour into a 9x13" baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumb topping.
- Bake until the topping is browned and the casserole is bubbling, 20-25 minutes.
- Cool for 10 minutes and serve with parsley.
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