Sunday, December 4, 2011

Chicken and Rice Bake

My sister-in-law (who is a closet reader of my blog - I didn't know she followed until recently.) gave me this recipe years ago. We all love it! Since I've been married, I have changed it by doubling the rice and soup because it's that good!

First, I'll post the original recipe, then the changes I made, and then a failed experiment.




The Original Recipe:
1 can condensed cream of chicken & broccoli soup*
1-1/2 cups water
3/4 cup uncooked rice
1-1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (optional)**
1 can (2.8 oz.) Durkee French Fried Onions
4 chicken breast halves (about 2 lbs.)
paprika
pepper

In a 3 quart baking dish, mix soup, water, rice, and 1/2 can onions.  Arrange chicken on top.  Sprinkle with paprika and pepper.

Bake at 375 degrees for one hour.  Top with remaining onions, and bake for another 3-5 minutes or until onions are golden brown.

*I have not been able to find cream of chicken & broccoli soup in years.  You can substitute with cream of chicken or cream of broccoli or any other of your favorite cream soups.
**I don't do mushrooms.  I used to be able to tolerate cream of mushroom soups, but ever since pregnancy, I can't even handle that.  Instant gag reflex upon thought.

My Changes:

Because we love the soup-rice-onion mixture so much, I now double that portion.  Also, my husband prefers brown rice.  I used to do half white rice and half brown rice, but now I do all brown rice.  Here's how I usually do it:

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can condensed cream of broccoli soup
3 cups water
1-1/2 cups uncooked rice
skip the mushrooms
1 large can of Durkee French Fried Onions
3-4 chicken breast halves (depends on how many people will be eating)
paprika
pepper



In a 3 quart baking dish, mix soup, water, rice, and 1/2 can onions.  Arrange chicken on top.  Sprinkle with paprika and pepper.

Bake at 375 degrees for one hour.  Top with remaining onions, and bake for another 3-5 minutes or until onions are golden brown.


A Failed Experiment:

I found a neat recipe for Cream of Something Soup mix on Pinterest.  I made up some and put it in a airtight container.  [Tangent - I thought I had blogged about this already, but I couldn't find it.  Has anyone ever seen a post by me about it?]  I've been anxious to try it out, and I picked this Chicken and Rice Bake to be my guinea pig.

First, here's the ingredients for the mix:

1 cup non-fat dried milk
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup bouillon*
4 Tablespoons freeze dried minced onions
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon pepper
For the equivalent of one can of condensed cream soup, mix 1/3 cup dry mix with 1-1/4 cup water. Cook until thick.
*I couldn't find bouillon in the soup aisle of Walmart.  However, I looked in the Latino section and found some there.  This worked out better because it's a larger bottle of powdered bouillon instead of the cubes which would have to be crushed and ground up.  I used the chicken flavor since I've never heard of anybody needing "cream of beef soup."
I measured out 2/3 cups of the mix and 2-1/2 cups of water and cooked it while I mixed up the rice and onions.  I initially put the heat on too high and had to really stir to get the stuff on the bottom up.  I hoped it would add flavor.  I noticed a difference between the 3 cups of water needed for the recipe and the 2-1/2 cups needed to make the soup.  I meant to add an extra cup of water (and really, I should've added the full extra 3 cups), but I got sidetracked.  That's life with a toddler -- not to mention life with a husband who had the day off that day!  :-)
I added the soup as it was to the rice and onions and shoved it in the oven.  An hour later, I took it out of the oven and was horrified at the results.  It looked both overcooked and undercooked at the same time.  Overcooked because it was a dark brown mess; undercooked because the rice on top was not cooked.  We were actually going to out to eat that evening (for our anniversary), but since I already had this out, I cooked it, and put it in the fridge to eat the next day.  Upon eating it, we discovered that the chicken was very dry.  We finished our portions (Robert added BBQ sauce to his chicken - a sure sign he didn't like it), and we gave the remainder to the dogs who gobbled it right up.

My mistake was in not adding enough water.

Here's what I should've done:

1.  Cook the Cream of Something soup mix (2/3 cups mix plus 2-1/2 cups water).
2.  Mix 1-1/2 cups rice and half of the onions.  Add the soup plus 3 cups of water.  Mix it all up.
3.  Arrange chicken on top.  Sprinkle with paprika and pepper.
4.  Bake at 375 degrees for one hour.  Sprinkle remaining onions on top, cook additional 3-5 minutes.

If anybody tries this (the Cream of Something mix) with this Chicken and Rice Bake recipe before I do, please comment and tell me how it goes.

I still have high hopes for the Cream of Something soup.  I know it'll save money in the long run.

Another thing, unless you want to make a ton of it using the whole box of dry milk, I would recommend giving away the remaining dry milk to someone else who would like to use it.  I gave some to my mom and some to my other sister-in-law when I saw them over Thanksgiving.  My mom was excited about it -- and she asked about adding mushrooms to it.  I didn't know about that and didn't care since I don't do mushrooms.  However, she showed me a recipe she wanted to try that called for something that sounded like "mushroom base organic" that made it sound like a type of bouillon. So it may be possible.


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3 comments:

  1. Ava, I make all of my own Cream of __ soups. I found a very good detailed post about it here ~http://www.milehimama.com/home-cooking/recipe-home-cooking/how-to-make-cream-of-chicken-soup/

    I even make a huge pot of creamy chicken soup using this method, only larger quantities.

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  2. I'm sorry your experiment failed, but this post made me chuckle. :) I love the way you put things. :) I'd never heard of Cream of Something soup before!Thanks for that info. I've never heard of "Cream of Beef" either! haha!!

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  3. Thanks for the link, Lori! I will try it out if I can't get this Cream of Something mix to work.

    Glad you liked the post, Valerie!

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