When we were just newlyweds, getting a decent meal on the table after work was a bit of a challenge — especially for just 2 people. I had been cooking for a long time before we married, but I cooked for all of my family. And, when it came to Sunday lunch, I was on my own as there were no options for eating out on Sunday where we lived.
One of my mom’s co-workers gave me this recipe as part of a kitchen shower gift. Knowing she was a very good cook, I immediately put this casserole into regular rotation. And because it made a frequent appearance on our Sunday lunch table, it came to be known as Sunday Chicken and Rice Casserole. Served with a side vegetable or green salad, it was a complete meal.
While I don’t typically use processed, prepared canned goods or mixes any longer, they are definite time savers. I highly recommend low-sodium or unsalted varieties if you do choose to use those. Both the onion soup mix and the cream of mushroom soup are easily made at home if you prefer to do those ahead of time.
SUNDAY CHICKEN AND RICE CASSEROLE
- 1 fryer, cut up or a combination of chicken breasts and/or thighs, with bones and skin
- 1 15-ounce bottle Italian salad dressing
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 Tablespoons Riceland Rice Bran Oil
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 envelope instant onion soup mix
- 1 cup Riceland Gold Perfected or Long Grain White Rice
- 1 10 1/2-ounce can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped baby bella mushrooms, optional
- 1 soup can unsalted chicken broth (10 1/2 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, crushed
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley as garnish, optional
- In a large baking dish, marinate chicken in the bottle of Italian salad dressing overnight in the refrigerator. (Or, at least 4-5 hours.)
- The next day, drain the dressing from the chicken and pat dry.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a 3 to 4 quart Dutch oven or casserole, heat butter and Riceland Rice Bran Oil over medium heat. Lightly brown chicken pieces on one side. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Remove Dutch oven from heat and allow to cool slightly. Sprinkle the instant onion soup mix into the Dutch oven. DO NOT ADD EXTRA SALT.
- Spray Dutch oven with nonstick baking spray.
- Stir in rice, cream of mushroom soup, mushrooms and chicken broth. Mix well.
- Season with pepper and Italian seasoning; stir well.
- Place chicken on top of rice mixture, browned side up.
- Cover tightly and bake for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Do not remove lid to check the dish except during the final 1/2 hour.
- Garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley, if desired.
Note: I usually use just chicken breasts or a combination of breasts and thighs. If the breasts are very large, I cut them in half across the breast. That size serving is plenty for us.
Homemade Instant Onion Soup Mix (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/217155/dry-onion-soup-mix/)
Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup (http://thepioneerwoman.com/food-and-friends/homemade-condensed-cream-of-mushroom-soup/)