Monday, April 29, 2013

Chicken and Rice Casserole with Almond Milk



I'm still waiting for Campbell's to come out with a soy or almond milk based cream canned soup. I'd be able to make all of my favorite comfort food recipes in a cinch. Although, making it yourself is probably healthier and more delicious, even if it's a bit more time consuming. I love this chicken and rice casserole dish because it's basic and simple. The almond and broth base is just what I use in my Dairy Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Green Bean Casserole recipes, and it's applicable to any recipe that calls for a cream based condensed soup.

I usually stick with the simplest form of this recipe since I am a busy working girl and have little patience for vegetable peeling and chopping, but you can add other vegetables to this dish to make it colorful. Chopped celery is an easy one, but I also thought of using frozen mixed veggies, broccoli, kale, and even sun dried tomatoes. Mixing in some fresh chopped herbs makes it fragrant and pretty. The recipe I used here is the most basic way I would make it. 

The most important aspect is the flavoring and thickening of the almond milk, to give it the consistency and taste of a cream of chicken soup. I definitely recommend almond milk over another dairy free milk for it's flavor.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
*Optional: shredded carrots, chopped celery

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and paprika and cook for about five minutes or until onions are tender. This is also where you should add any other vegetables you wish to include in the dish. Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.


2. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the onion and spices mixture, stirring quickly to combine. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute, and then slowly whisk in chicken broth until well combined.



3. Next, stir in almond milk and 1 cup of uncooked brown rice. Remove from heat and pour mixture into a large casserole dish.


4. In a nonstick pan, heat additional olive oil over medium high heat. Add chicken breasts and a dash of chicken broth and sear until lightly browned, about 2 minutes each side. Remove from heat and place chicken breasts on top of rice mixture in casserole dish.




5. Cover the casserole dish in foil and cook for 45 minutes. Rice will be fluffy and chicken moist. Top with fresh parsley.