By boiling the rice like pasta, you avoid that sort of mushiness that you get when you steam the rice and then add it to the casserole. You also get to control how cooked it gets – because it will cook some more while the cheese is melting in the oven. The same goes for the broccoli – this method allows it to retain some of that bite.
I used sharp cheddar, pepper jack, cream cheese and parmesan cheese. If you don’t like pepper jack, you could use just Monterey jack cheese instead. If you want even more kick you could use jalapeno cream cheese! I didn’t serve this with a side dish because it has everything – meat, starch, veg – in the baking dish. But if you wanted to stretch it or needed something more I would suggest a nice dinner roll or a simple green salad.
Now Let’s Get Cookin’!
Four Cheese Chicken & Rice
- 1½ lb Chicken Thighs boneless, skinless
- 1½ cup Long Grain Rice
- 2 cups Broccoli chopped
- 1 8 oz Cream Cheese cubed
- 1 cup Pepper Jack shredded
- 1 cup Cheddar Cheese shredded
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 1 tbsp Dried Onion
- 1 tsp Tarragon
- 1 cup Panko Crumbs
- 1 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
- 4 oz Butter melted
- 1 tsp Garlic Salt
- Prepare all of the ingredients. Preheat oven to 400deg.
- In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, add chicken, dried onions, tarragon, and garlic cloves. Add water until 2 inches over chicken. Bring to boil and cook for 8 minutes (it will not be totally cooked, but that okay). Remove chicken from pan and reserve liquid (scrape any foamy stuff offtop). Chop chicken into bite-size pieces.
- Bring chicken broth back to boil and add rice to pan. Continue in a rolling boil for 6 minutes. Add broccoli to boiling rice and cook another 4 minutes. Should have about a cup of liquid left. Transfer rice, broccoli and remaining broth to a 13×9 baking dish.
- Add chicken, cream cheese, pepper jack and cheddar cheese to rice and brocolli. Stir to combine.
- Add panko, parmesan cheese, and garlic salt to melted butter. Sprinkle over top of rice and chicken. Place in oven for 20 minutes. Let rest at least 5 minutes befor serving.
Estelle Forrest self-published this cookbook after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:
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