I’ve been busy filling my freezer with meals for my family in preparation of my 3-day business trip to Salt Lake City later in the week. I’ve made and frozen a couple of casseroles in baking dishes so my husband just has to pull out, thaw and bake for 30-45 minutes. Before freezing, I labeled each casserole with name and baking instructions.
Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole Pie
Toasted Bread Crumb Topping:
4 slices wheat sandwich bread, quartered
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ingredients: (Recipe Doubled for top crust)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/4 cup ice water
Directions For Pie Crust:
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Roll dough out to fit baking dish. Place crust in baking dish. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the baking dish.
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press
¼ cup all-purpose flour
6 cupschicken broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 can cream of celery soup
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 5 breasts), trimmed
1 6.9 oz.box Chicken flavored rice
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
ground black pepper
Add chicken breasts, partially cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover completely, and cook until the thickest part of the chicken breast is no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken and set aside to cool. Stir the rice and rice seasonings packet into the pot, cover and continue to cook over low heat, stirring often, until the rice is just tender, 20 to 25 minutes. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, chop it into bite-sized pieces.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the shredded chicken, peas and corn, and cheddar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into a 13×9-inch baking dish , top with pie crust and sprinkle with the crumb topping.
To Bake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat the oven to 400°F. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until the casserole is bubbling and hot throughout, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until the pie crust topping is golden brown and bread crumbs are crisp, 10 minutes longer.
*To make ahead: Wrap prepared dish tightly with plastic wrap and then foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. (If frozen, the casserole must be thawed completely in the refrigerator before baking). Don’t forget to remove plastic wrap before baking.
**Bake half and freeze half: This recipe made enough to place in 9×13 inch baking dish, 8x8x2 square baking pan and I had 3-4 cups leftover which I put in a ziploc freezer bag to use at a later time.
To lean more about freezing casseroles, click HERE.