When I was growing up, it was the practice at church to hold a potluck after morning services every few months. All the kids looked forward to lunch; I don’t think any of us heard a word of the sermon.
My favorite dish at these was a casserole prepared by the preacher’s wife, Mrs. W. I was so enamoured with it, in years after, my mother would make a triple batch for the family at home, as I could eat three platefuls easily in a single sitting.
It’s not the healthiest dish in the world, or the most exotic. Certainly it’s not the most beautiful thing to present on a plate. It does have the advantage of being gluten, nut & soy free. I submit that it is a quintessential comfort food: Chicken and Rice.
I have no idea where the recipe may have originated. My own copy was taken from my mother’s personal recipe collection, which she compiled on her faithful typewriter and saves in a miniature 3-ring binder.
First, sprinkle the bacon, rice, and whatever vegetables you want to add in the bottom of an oven-safe dish. I haven’t got a true casserole dish big enough for this recipe, so I go with my Pyrex mixing bowls.
Next, chop the chicken into bite-size pieces:
I’ve gotten to where I am pretty picky about what kinds of pre-processed foods I feed my family. We don’t eat too many of them… but sometimes a girl just has to make something with the ubiquitous ‘cream-ofs’. My favorites are by organic soups by Pacific Natural Foods; I get them through Azure Standard.
Mix all the liquid ingredients and spices together.
My original Pyrex wasn’t big enough, so I transferred the whole thing to a bigger bowl. That’s all right; I find that this casserole comes together better if it’s stirred before it goes in the oven. Cover with foil and crimp the edges down well.
Bake at 325° for at least two hours. It will be soupy when it first comes out; stir well and it will lose its soupiness quickly.
Just the thing I want on a cold, snowy day like today!
Chicken and Rice
|2 T. bacon bits or crumbled, cooked bacon||1 c. uncooked rice|
|1 c. raw, cubed chicken|
Line bottom of casserole with bacon or bacon bits. Pour in rice. Place chicken on top.
Mix following together:
|1 t. paprika||1/4 t. oregano|
|1/4 t. garlic powder||1 can cream of chicken soup|
|1/4 t. parsley flakes||1 can cream of mushroom soup|
|1/4 t. chives or onion||2 – 3 cans water|
Pour mixture over chicken and stir enough to get the liquids to the bottom of the dish. Bake in covered container 325° two to three hours. Seal pan with foil. Stir at the 90 minute mark, and check for doneness at two hours and at 30 minute intervals thereafter.