Chicken and Rice Casserole

Forgotten Chicken. Remember that?

chicken and rice casserole

That was not a joke. Forgotten chicken is a real thing and I’m asking you if you seriously remember it. I don’t, but Bjork does. And he mentioned it the other day, how much he ironically remembered and loved and missed having Forgotten Chicken as a kid.

I thought I should do a nice wife thing and make it for him. It was also a nice self thing:

  1. There was enough for every meal all week. NO MORE COOKING! I mean, woops. I mostly do like to cook.
  2. It forced me to make my own homemade condensed cream of chicken soup, which was easy and wonderful and I’ll do it again, possibly forever.
  3. It was so customizable. I could have even added vegetables. Could. Have.
  4. It was intensely cozy and comforting.

chicken and rice casserole

Raw chicken shot? Doin’ it.

And now you know how to do the complex step of laying the chicken breasts over the rice mixture and lightly sprinkling them with your favorite seasoning, preferably southwest hickory or chipotle flavored. Like I said, com-plex.

chicken and rice casserole

One thing to know. This yummy stuff needs to bake for a loooong time.

That’s sort of sad if you live in the Philippines, but really happy if you live anywhere else. Except, like, Mexico or something.

It’s worth the wait. Go watch TV. Read a book. Put your feet up and dream about making salted maple pecan pie bars again, for the fifth time this month. As in it’s like, December 5th. And if you DO live in the Philippines or Mexico or any other warm-ish place, just turn your fans to Level Three. You’ll soon be lost in a big bowl of this goodness so don’t even worry about it.

You’re probably wondering if it’s worth venturing into the hot oven around 00:45:00 to remove the foil, even though your face will start dripping off and you will probably burn your hand? Yes, it is. Oh wait, you guys use real potholders instead of dishtowels? SMART.

Anyways, take that foil offa there because the top gets crunchy and browned and crispy when it’s left uncovered. And I’m telling you, I couldn’t love that golden browned crispified top layer more.

chicken and rice casserole

And then, like a true casserole lover, smother it with cheese or sour cream or something really bad for you.

No, it doesn’t have to be bad for you.

But actually yes it does, because it’s delicious.

chicken and rice casserole

I inlcluded the instructions for yesterday’s homemade condensed cream of chicken soup in this recipe, so if you follow these instructions you’ll already be making your own! If you want to use canned cream of chicken soup, there is a note about that in the ingredient list, too.

4.5 from 11 reviews

Chicken and Rice Casserole
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups chicken broth (I used 2 cans)
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning mix for the condensed soup (or ½ tsp. onion powder, ½ tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. pepper, ½ tsp. parsley)
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked brown rice, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons seasoning mix of your choice for the flavor of the casserole – my favorite was a smoked hickory southwestern seasoning
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
Instructions
  1. Make the sauce: combine the chicken broth and ½ cup of the milk in a large saucepan. Bring to a low boil. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the flour and seasonings into the milk until a smooth, thick mixture forms. Pour the flour and milk mixture into the saucepan over low heat and stir continuously, whisking as the mixture simmers. Continue to simmer and stir/whisk until the mixture is smooth and thick, 5-10 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a 9-inch square baking dish – it really sticks to the sides.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the uncooked rice, condensed soup from step 1, 1 tablespoon seasoning, and water. Pour into prepared dish.
  4. Arrange chicken pieces over the top and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of seasoning.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for about 45 minutes. Remove foil; bake for an additional 30-45 minutes or until rice and chicken are cooked through and top is slightly browned. Allow to cool for 15 minutes; shred chicken into small pieces and stir to combine with the rice. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or shredded cheese.
Notes
A few commenters mentioned their rice not cooking all the way through, so you might want to just add a little extra liquid (about ½ cup) and keep the pan covered with foil for the entire baking time. Be aware that covering the dish helps it cook faster, while leaving it uncovered gets that nice browned texture on the chicken. I used a combination of both as mentioned.

Add water or milk as you reheat it to bring it bake to its original creaminess. Nutrition information is for 8 servings.

 

Nutrition Chicken Casserole

Have I made this in the Crockpot yet?  Sadly, no. Only 23 times in the oven.

But it seems like a very wise thing to do.

I’ll keep you posted.


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Comments

  1. Lizabeth K. says:

    Your writing literally makes me laugh out loud. :) This is a FAVORITE childhood winter meal – I should definitely make it sometime soon.

  2. I love comforting casseroles like this one. Yea, they’re not the most healthy, but who cares? They’re delicious, and perfect when you want to feel warm, cozy, and loved. Can’t wait to try this one!

    I can’t imagine Christmas someplace warm. I love the cold weather and snow too much!

  3. Any casserole recipe where you don’t have to cook the chicken first is well worth the extra cooking time! (I’m incredibly lazy.)

  4. This looks so yummy and comforting. Perfect for a cold winter’s day. I will be trying this soon!

  5. Oh yum! I unfortunately do not remember this from childhood either but I WILL remember it from my adulthood :) Totally making this next week.

  6. I love casserole too! They just make life and cooking so easy!

  7. That looks very very tasty, the older I get the more I become a fan of casserole dishes!

  8. Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies says:

    This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! Only, should I be worried about putting raw chicken atop dry rice? It seems like the sort of thing Chef Ramsay would yell at you for, though I can’t say why, exactly.

  9. How you manage to make even chicken and rice look like the Queen of Sheba is beyond me. You got skeelzs.

  10. I’ve never heard of forgotten chicken… but this casserole looks amazing! I have a feeling my boyfriend would love it.

  11. This looks like the perfect weeknight meal with leftovers! I am always looking for a dish I can make and eat in my lunch at work or on a busy night. I like that it doesn’t use any condensed soup! Delicious.

  12. I love this. The humor. The recipe. All. Of. It. Nice work! Can’t wait to try it!! =)

  13. Delicious, delicious, delicious!

  14. My husband loves meals like this…and I do love chicken and rice casserole, especially using your homemade condensed soup from yesterday!

  15. It’s 8:45 in the morning and I am already looking forward to making this for dinner tonight! As long as Target sells brown rice, I’m making this tonight!!!!!! EXCITED!!!!

  16. Oh my gosh Lindsay… this seriously looks amazing! I’m already dreaming of eating it. I have no idea what forgotten chicken is, but I’m so glad you guys remembered it so that this would be created!!

  17. I could use a comforting dish like this right now! Looks great!

  18. I am totally throwing this in the crockpot!

    • How did it turn out in the crockpot? I made it once in the oven and loved it, but using a crockpot would definitely make my life a lot easier!

  19. I actually have heard of Forgotten Chicken before, but I’ve never made it. Seems like a good recipe to have on hand for a busy mom like myself. I do not eat chicken, but my kids are huge fans of both chicken and rice, so this would be perfect for them.

  20. Sarah Johnston says:

    I made this last night… So yummy and comforting! As the snow falls, at least about 7 inches so far, it is nice to know we’ll be heating this up! It is actually looking quite like a “winter wonderland” !
    Sarah

    • I heard there was lots of snow coming to MN! I miss it!! Hope you can get out and enjoy it a little bit (and then come in and warm up with something yummy)! By the way, guess what I found at a little store here in Cebu? B.T. Mcelrath Salty Dog Chocolate Bars!!!!!

  21. Being a Midwestern girl, it’s required to love casseroles! Especially super easy ones like this…

  22. I made this last week, as is, and it was great. So great, in fact, that my husband requested it again this week. I made it last night, but tweeked it to have a Mexican flair, and it was great again. Added some veggies and some different spices. I blogged about it over at my page(hope you don’t mind). http://beautifultastyfun.blogspot.com/2012/12/mexican-insipred-chicken-and-rice.html

  23. Loving the one dish dinners lately, thanks for this one!

  24. Made this for my kids last night, halving the recipe. They ate the entire pan! I used a homemade seasoning blend and canned cream of chicken soup. All three said it was delicious. One added cheese, one added sour cream and one ate it plain. Guess it’s great anyway you choose! Thanks for the super quick and easy, one pan dinner Lindsay. I even mixed the soup and rice in the casserole dish, less to clean up!

    • Perfect! Glad you liked it!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi,

      I made it the exact same way you describe (canned soup, mix in casserole dish)….and it tasted delicious, but not all of the rice cooked :(, so it was a bit….crunchy. I even made it again a few weeks later, but the same thing happened. I think the only thing i neglected in the recipe was rinsing the rice…..could that be it? Most of the rice ended up cooked but there was definitely some uncooked pieces in every bite.

      Any suggestions? I’d love to make it again, with fully cooked rice :)

      -Elizabeth

      • Yes, I would suggest adding more liquid, like another 1/2 cup of water or broth before you start baking it. It does take a really long time to bake, so maybe baking it a little longer to give the rice more time to cook would help. Did you cover it with foil while baking? I would suggest that, too. And I usually do rinse my rice although I’m not sure if that would have made the difference or not. Bottom line: more liquid! :) Good luck!

  25. This sounds RIDICULOUSLY delicious! It’s definitely a recipe I want to try soon. One question though. What other seasonings do you recommend for the casserole? I’m not used to using store bought seasonings… Maybe something with an Asian or creole flair? Or just something spicier?

  26. Have you ever tried freezing this? My sister is having a baby today, and I was thinking of making this to put in their freezer, I’m just not sure the best way to do it.

  27. I don’t have a 9-inch pan. Is there something else I can use to bake this?

  28. I tried this today, and it turned out great! Okay, I actually changed your recipe a bit based on what I had on hand, but it still worked quite well by following your format. The condensed soup part was mainly all I changed; I used almond milk and ground flax seed instead of milk and flour in my condensed soup, plus I added a bit of butter to thicken it up. I used chicken thigh instead of breasts, and added some finely chopped bell pepper and carrot. I let it cook at 300 for 2 1/2 hours while I was at church,and when I came home, it was perfectly cooked! We ate it with salsa, sour cream, cheese, and chips. Thanks for an awesome base recipe; I will be going back to this one again and again!

    • This is great! If you remember, I am really interested in knowing the measurements of flax and almond milk you used or just your process of making the condensed soup. I tried looking up conversions, but I could not find anything that would help me. Thanks in advance!

  29. I tried this last night. For some reason mine had quite a bit (at least a quarter) of undercooked rice and if I would have cooked longer it would have been really dry. Not sure what I did wrong because I even soaked the brown rice for a little while anticipating it might undercook otherwise. Any suggestions?

    • Bummer! If you use the same rice a condensed soup next time, I’d just add extra water. i havent tried this, but you could also try doing it in the rice cooker so that the rice gets fully cooked.

  30. I was wondering if anyone has made this with adding vegetables in it?
    I’m thinking some broccoli and mushrooms. I am just wondering if I would add them in the mixture at the beginning, or maybe mix them with the rice when I take the foil off? Just not sure….any thoughts or suggestions?

  31. I just thought I would let you know that I found this recipe via pinterest! And this recipe has been a complete pinterest win!! We have made this several times in a few different ways and it has turned out perfect each time. Thank you so much for sharing!

  32. My husband and I are working in Zambia, Africa right now, so I’m always on the hunt for recipes without can-of-whatever soup. In the States, this is one of our favorites, so I’m looking forward to indulging tonight (it’s just waiting to go in the oven)!

    This is the first time I’ve been to your blog (I just Googled “chicken and brown rice casserole”), and I was SO excited to find this recipe with ingredients I have on hand AND to see that you’re from Mpls (your husband’s name is a dead giveaway) AND that you’re working at CSC!!! I’m from MN, and my family is distantly related to Marlys and Paul, and my sister worked as a nurse there for a year in 2003. What a small world! Thanks for the recipe!

  33. Do you suppose this would work with quinoa?

  34. I live in Manaus, Brazil. Its hot all the time and unfortunately, I always seem to pick the hottest days to cook something like this in the oven. Very fortunate for us though, I Googled chicken and rice casserole and this came up! Condensed soup is imported and ridiculously expensive, so I was pleasantly surprised to see your homemade version. Delicious! Didn’t have the rice cooking issue, but had to use white rice because that’s what I had on hand.

  35. Found this on pinterest and tried making it last night in the crockpot. Unfortunately, 4 hours on high did NOT get the rice all the way done. :( Next time I will start the rice portion (with extra water) in the morning on low and add the chicken in the afternoon, switching up to high when I do so.

    But it was delicious and crunchy rice did NOT keep us from eating every last bite!! :-)

    I used Campbells Healthy Choice Cream of Celery soup and Hidden Valley Garlic Herb mix. I love using cream of celery because it gives a slightly-sweet flavor. No cheese or sour cream needed!

    I, too, would love to hear the almond milk-flax seed ration as I will be going off dairy in 2014.

  36. Two hours in and the rice is still not cooked. I rescued the chicken as it would have overcooked extremely. I dumped in half a bottle of balsamic vinaigrette and I’m hoping the rice gets done before bedtime. other than that a great recipe. in future I would add one cup of water one cup of salad dressing, cook the rice for an hour, then add the chicken. Or try it in the crockpot. Or start with cooked rice. I don’t know. frustrating

  37. Fancypants127 says:

    I just made this. Yum! My husband ate half the pan! By the way, definitely add another 1/2 cup of water and cook for 20 mins longer to ensure the rice is cooked fully.

  38. I grew up in ND and forgotten chicken and rice was popular in the 70′s in a different variation. the rice was spread on a larger flatter pan jelly roll or cookie sheet depending on how many you were feeding. you topped the rice with pieces of raw cut up chicken on the bone and with the skin still on. you could customize it to your families choices of white or dark meat or how many you were feeding like hired hands at dinner (noon) the chicken was topped with dry onion soup mix and usually a can of cream of mushroom soup or your family preference. it was sealed tightly with foil and put in oven until you were ready for it. you could adjust the oven temp depending on when you needed to serve it the idea was to get it in the oven early and set the temp low no higher than 300 and you could go about your farm duties knowing your main dish would be ready when needed. I think the chicken was expected to generate juices to help the soup provide enough moisture. we hadn’t really had come to expect to find brown rice locally in the rural area and rice was exotic in itself since in the red river valley most noon meals centered around potatoes. I also was served this variation but with brown rice in NWestern Ohio in ’79. your modern version sounds much easier and yummier altho I too would have to substitute the canned soup with something not thickened with wheat but no problem. I wanted to let you know that indeed forgotten rice was popular you are all just too young to have been around for it’s earlier incarnation. the problem some people are having with the rice is that it depends on the moisture content of the rice when you start cooking it. too many factors can play into that but mostly how long the rice has been in storage older rice takes longer to cook same for dried beans short or long grain makes a difference too. where it was grown how it was dried the variety. brown basmati will usually cook quicker as will fresh rice so buy from a place with high turnover

  39. Hi!! Love your blog!! :) I really want to make this but I only have long grain white rice so would I be using the same amount of water and cook it the same amount of time if I were to use white rice?? I’m sorry if this is a stupid question; I dunno much about cooking!!!! :) Thank you!!

  40. Pamela B. says:

    This is a great recipe! I have made a version of this for years, doubled, halved, added veggies, bacon bits and used the home made “cream of” soup mix with great success. Over the years, I have shared it with others and when they have issues with the rice not cooking through, I always ask if they remembered to cover the dish and seal it well with foil, to keep the steam inside. Often, they have not done so, and much of the moisture meant to cook the rice is lost. As for the nutrition of this recipe, I think it would be very healthy, particularly using brown rice and homemade soup mix and using added veggies, such as broccoli or peppers. lots of protein, calcium, fiber from the rice and veggies, healthy carbohydrates and little fat if not using canned soup. It’s a winner all around…if you don’t use the bacon, but of course, it’s delicious with bacon! (What isn’t?) Thanks for sharing this favorite!

  41. Sorry this didn’t do much for me. I added veggies; onion ,pepper, celery and cajun seasoning and it was still bland. Also since I only had jasmine rice used that. The rice cooked well and to try to salvage it added panko and parm. And a shot of hot sauce probably for my portion

  42. I love that you posted this recipe. I have been looking for a non soup can recipe forever!@!

  43. I tried this last night and it tasted really good…but some of the rice was didn’t soften! I tried to fix it by adding water and putting it back in the oven for a while but it didn’t seem to help. I just used regular brown rice. Not sure why this happened! I followed the recipe step by step. Other than that it was awesome though! I used tex mex for seasoning – it was yummy!

    Thanks!

  44. I made this last night and it is so good – exactly the kind of chicken and rice recipe I was looking for. Old school classic comfort food.
    As the notes suggested, I added and extra 1/2 cup of water. It ended up needing an extra 40 minutes total for the rice to be fully cooked. So, that was a LONG baking time. But, it worked! I now know that if I want it on a weeknight, I should use white rice. Otherwise, a weekend recipe for sure.
    I’m so happy to have this recipe. It’s SO easy, it’s filling, and you can add any flavors you want it seems. I used Tony Chachere’s seasoning and thought it was great. I might try using cream of celery soup next time just to see bc I like cream of celery in casseroles. And I love that I have enough left over for 1 or 2 lunches to take to work.

  45. I can’t get the rice to cook either. I’ve put in 3 cups more of chicken broth, and have baked it 40 minutes longer….and still cooking. It smells delicious and I don’t want to waste it but I’m not sure what else to do.

  46. Thanks for the great recipe! My family loved it and keeps requesting it! We add broccoli and carrots.

  47. I have it in the oven now, and after 45 minutes the dish is still very soupy and chicken is raw. I have it back in for another 45. I hope the rice will absorb all that liquid.

  48. Lyndsay Gusek says:

    I’ve used your recipe before and it was delicious! (: I’m making it again and can’t quite remember how I did it. If I am buying condensed cream of chicken soup, how much should I add?

    Thanks!

  49. Anna Knotts says:

    WOW! I never thought I would enjoy a chicken rice casserole. The picture first caught me attention–the fact that it was not a sickly gray color. I made it in a dutch oven over the stove and then put it in the oven with a lid on instead of foil. I used Jamaican jerk for the seasoning mix of choice and the broth was from a smoked turkey. I also used chicken thighs instead of breast. It was amazing! I was licking my fingers. Thank you for this fabulous recipe.

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