Every Sunday, I cook easy peasy food because, really, after an entire week of cooking, Sunday is sort-of my rest day. Sort of – because there is always someone to feed at home. Not that I am complaining, mind you. I really love to cook. So I simplify things as much as possible on Sunday in order to have time to do other stuff.
A good compromise, I think. 🙂
I wanted to cook a baked rice dish because baked rice, besides being easy, is also yummy. I guess when you place a ton of cheese on anything, it cannot help but become anything other than than yummy. 😛
Ever since I discovered how easy (and much cheaper and versatile) it was to roast my own chicken rather buying a ready-roasted bird from the supermarket, I had totally stopped buying ready-roasted birds.
For this dinner, I would need 1 chicken breast (2 halves), but being a prudent home-cook, I roasted 2 chicken breasts, and use the remaining chicken to make sandwiches with roast chicken and mayonnaise.
First, I seasoned the chicken with salt. Since I only had mixed peppercorns in my pantry, I pounded some and added that as well. You can always use good old black pepper instead! 🙂 I also added the zest of one lemon and the juice of half a lemon.
I scattered some dried thyme and drizzled extra virgin olive oil on the chicken before roasting the chicken at 180C for about 35 minutes.
I diced the chicken and set this aside. In addition, I also sliced some shitake mushrooms and diced half a red pepper.
In a hot Dutch oven (or skillet), I sauteed garlic in extra virgin olive oil for about 30 seconds. Then the red pepper was added and cooked for another minute or so before I added the mushroom.
Once the mushrooms had wilted, I added the diced chicken and 2 cans of cream of mushroom as well as the water. Finally, the rice was added. I normally use basmati rice but because I had run out, I substituted with jasmine rice instead.
I seasoned with salt. The rice mixture should be wet-ish.
I spooned the rice into individual casserole dishes, but by all means use a big casserole dish if you wish.
I topped the rice with Parmesan, then Cheddar, and finally Mozzarella cheeses. I also sprinkled some dried parsley and added a dash of black pepper. You can make everything to this stage, cover with cling film and place in the fridge until needed.
Just before dinner, I baked them at 200C for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese had melted and the tops had turned a nice golden brown.
It is best to serve the rice immediately, with a salad if you like.
- 1 whole chicken breast, skin removed
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- Juice of 1/4 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Dash of salt, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black or mixed peppercorns, ground
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1. Season chicken with salt and pepper, lemon zest and lemon juice.
- 2. Drizzle with olive oil.
- 3. Roast chicken in oven at 180C for about 35 minutes, until chicken is cooked through
- 1 chicken breast, roasted and diced
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- 100g mushrooms, sliced - I used shitake mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup (concentrated)
- Salt, to taste
- 2 cups cooked over-night rice, preferably basmati rice
- 2.5 - 3 cans (use the can the mushroom soup came in) water
- 1/8 cup Parmesan
- 1/4 cup Cheddar
- 1/2 cup Mozzarella
- Dried parsley, if desired
- Saute garlic in heated olive oil in skillet or Dutch oven for 30 seconds.
- Add red pepper, cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add mushroom.
- Once mushroom has wilted, add chicken, cream of mushroom soup, water and rice. Stir to mix.
- Season with salt. Dish into a 9x13-inch casserole dish or 4 smaller individual casserole dishes.
- Top with Parmesan, Cheddar, Mozzarella and black pepper. Sprinkle with dried parsley, if desired.
- Bake at 200C for about 15-20 minutes, until tops turn golden brown.
- Serve immediately.