Saturday, April 4, 2009

Italian Chicken Casserole

This is a Southern Living recipe that I have made many times over. My husband even like it before it gets cooked in the oven (as all the ingredients are already cooked, but not all heated). It also freezes well, so what I sometimes do is make one recipe and put 1/2 in an 8x8 pan to freeze and fill another 8x8 for our dinner.

2 (3.5 oz) bags quick cooking rice
1 lb fresh chicken breast, cut into cubes (or use already cook chicken from crockpot)
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
3 T olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 (8 oz) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (10 1/4 oz) can reduced fat cream of chicken soup
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
1/2 t Italian seasoning
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, undrained

1. Cook rice according to package directions.
2. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Saute, in 2 batches, in 2 T hot oil in a large skillet over medium high heat 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from skillet.
3. Add remaining 1 T oil to skillet, and saute onion 2-3 minutes or until tender. Stir in mushrooms and cook 2-3 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Remove skillet from heat.
4. Stir together soup, sour cream and Italian seasoning in a medium bowl until well blended. Stir soup mixture into onion mixture in skillet; stir in rice. Gently stir in tomatoes and chicken just until combined. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking dish. (or 2 8x8 dishes)
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

*if cooking from frozen, thaw in refrigerator 24 hours, then bake 350 degrees for 1 hour - 1 hour 10 minutes until bubbly. It needs to cook longer due to the moisture that occurs from freezing.

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