Cheesy Chicken & Rice with Veggies

That’s the best title I have for the dish I made the other night. I know, real creative. 🙂

My in-laws came over Sunday afternoon and stayed for dinner. I wanted to make something filling and enough to feed us and them, as well as have enough for Arthur’s lunch Monday.

Here’s what I came up with:

1 pound chicken (I used the frozen boneless, skinless thighs from Meijer)

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

Onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper – all to taste

1 1/2 cups rice, uncooked

3 cups chicken broth

3/4 chopped carrots

1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers

Grated Parmesan  Cheese

For the Cheese Sauce:

4 TBSP unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk (I used dry milk because we were almost out of our regular gallon of milk)

1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used mild cheddar, but this would probably be more tasty with sharp cheddar)

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Bring to boil the chicken broth and rice. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice is cooked.

2. While rice is cooking, place chicken, peppers and carrots in saute pan (use a little oil if not cooking chicken from frozen….so it doesn’t burn) and cook until chicken is no longer pink and peppers are tender. Carrots might not be quite tender, but that’s ok. Add seasonings as much as you want: onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

3. Heat butter in sauce pan. Once melted, add in flour and combine. Cook for an additional minute on medium heat. Salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in milk and cook on med-high heat until starting to boil and thickens. Stir constantly. After thickened, add in cheese and heat on low until cheese is completely melted. Remove from heat.

4. Place chicken and veggie mixture in 9×13 baking dish. Add in rice and then the cheese sauce. Stir to combine all items and coat all with the cheese sauce.

5. Sprinkle crushed crackers over and sprinkle with as much Parmesan cheese as you like (we LOVE lots!). Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes, so sauce thickens more. Or, eat it right away while it’s soupy. Either way, it’s delicious!!

We had this with a side dish of sautéed corn and zucchini. Yum!


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