Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Salsa Chicken Casserole

So we have been trying some new recipes from various sources, Pinterest being one of them.  I pinned this recipe last month and we made it for dinner last night. It was a definite keeper.
This picture is from her blog...ours looked similar, but quite as pretty.

I did alter it a bit. Nothing drastic.
I made this as a pseudo freezer meal earlier in the month (see directions at the end). So yesterday, all I did was let it thaw, dump it into the casserole dish, pop the lid on the jar of salsa, crack open the can of beans, dump in the rice, add the water/bouillon and bake.

Salsa Chicken Casserole: (my version)
1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
2 c frozen corn
2 c chicken broth (I actually just used water and chicken bouillon)
1 16-oz jar salsa
1 26.5-oz can black beans, drained & rinsed, add back in roughly 1/4 can of water
1 c uncooked rice (we had Basmati on hand)
1/2-1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2-1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1-2 c shredded cheese (we used a mix of monterrey jack and sharp cheddar)
3 green onions sliced

1. Preheat oven 375F.
2.Pour broth in the bottom of the casserole dish. Stir in the rice so it's evenly layered on the bottom. In a small bowl mix together the beans, corn, spices, & salsa. Smear them across the top of the rice.
3. Top with the chicken.
4. Bake in the oven (probably best to cover it for the first little while) @ 375F for 1-2 hours. Until the rice and chicken are cooked. Ours took 1.5 hrs.
5. Top with cheese and green onions, return to the oven for another 5-10 min until cheese is melted and gooey on top.
Serve with fresh chopped cilantro, sour cream, avocado, crushed tostidos. Mango on the side.

** For the freezer meal version:
1. Dice up chicken, toss it into a large freezer bag along with the chili powder, oregano and cumin. Add in the frozen corn, mix it all together well in the bag. You can also add the broth at this point if you want.
2. Shred cheese and place in a zip lock bag.
3. Dice onions, place in ziplock bag.
4. You can also freeze the rice in a ziplock bag if you like the idea of having most of it all together. I just left my rice in the pantry since we keep huge bags of it on hand.
Toss all three bags (rubberband or taped together) in the freezer with label (date/name of dish, directions)

When you're ready to eat it, remove the chicken bag from the freezer the morning of. Allow it to thaw.
2 hours before meal time, dump rice, beans and salsa into a casserole dish (and broth if you DID NOT add it to your bag of chicken earlier). Dump chicken mixture on top. Bake @ 375F for 1-2 hours; top with cheese and onions, til cheese is ooey gooey good.

Both my kids wolfed it down in about 5 minutes flat, the younger one asking for more. Senor added red pepper to his, and I did think some green pepper might not be a bad idea, or crushed up tostidos baked on the top. It was still good just as it was.

No comments: