I never get tired of “comfort food,” do you? In fact, I made some yummy Macaroni and Cheese for supper last night! I recently found another “comfort food” recipe, Chicken Leek Brown Rice Casserole, that I would like to share with you in today’s post.
Chicken Leek Brown Rice Casserole has the nutty flavor of brown rice combined with chicken, carrots and leeks in a cream cheese sauce flavored with lemon juice and zest, finished with a topping of buttered panko bread crumbs. This dish fills all the requirements for “comfort food!”
- 1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 medium leeks, halved lengthwise, rinsed, drained, and thinly sliced (white parts only)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 (14.5 oz. can) chicken broth
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened & cubed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon peel (zest)
- 2 cups brown rice, cooked
- 3 cups chicken, cooked (cut in chunks the size you prefer)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Saute carrots, leeks and garlic in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until tender.
- Combine milk and flour; whisk until well combined.
- Add milk mixture and chicken broth to the skillet; cook and stir until slightly thickened & bubbly.
- Whisk in cream cheese until melted. Stir in lemon juice and peel. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon rice into 2-quart baking dish, breaking up any clumps.
- Pour cream cheese mixture over rice.
- Arrange chicken chunks or cubes over rice mixture, gently pressing pieces in.
- Met butter and add to panko bread crumbs.
- Sprinkle panko crumbs over casserole.
- Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serving suggestion: a salad or vegetable is about all that's needed to make this "comfort food" casserole a complete meal!
7 Steps to Prepare This Dish
This recipe needs to have a few of the following steps accomplished before assembling the casserole. Several of these steps may be done the day before you plan to serve Chicken Leek Brown Rice Casserole.
First step – unless you are using purchased rotisserie roasted chicken, you’ll need to cook the chicken. When the chicken has cooled, chop or tear the chicken into pieces the size that you prefer. (You may prefer smaller pieces for children and/or those with chewing/dental problems.) In addition, take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator so it can soften up while you’re doing other tasks.
Second step – cook the brown rice. Brown rice usually takes at least 45 minutes to cook, sometimes a bit more. During the time the brown rice is cooking you can carry out step #3.
Third step – wash the leeks thoroughly since sand may have become trapped inside the leaves. I like to fill up my kitchen sink with water and swish the leeks around in it until all the dirt is in the bottom of the sink. Rinse the leeks off and halve them lengthwise, then slice thinly the white parts only.
Fourth step – zest a lemon – you’ll need two teaspoons of shredded lemon peel – and juice the lemon. Melt butter, add panko bread crumbs and stir to combine. Set these items aside.
Fifth step – preheat oven to 375º F. Add oil to a large skillet and sauté leeks, carrots and garlic over medium heat until tender. Combine milk and flour; whisk until well combined. Add milk mixture and chicken broth to the skillet. Cook until slightly thickened and bubbly.
Sixth step – Whisk in cream cheese until melted. Stir in lemon juice and peel. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Seventh step – assemble the casserole. Spoon rice into a 2-quart casserole dish, breaking up any clumps. Pour cream cheese mixture over the rice. Arrange chicken chunks or cubes over the rice mixture, gently pressing pieces in. Sprinkle panko crumbs over casserole. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve and enjoy!
More Comfort Food!
If you like “comfort food” recipes containing chicken, I would also recommend these Silver Foodie recipes to you. The most popular recipe on the Silver Foodie website is for Unforgettable Chicken Casserole – A Crunchy Delight. Also popular recipes are Hot Crunchy Chicken Salad and Chicken Almondzini, both of which are “retro” recipes or recipes from bygone days.
Remember to Savor the Flavor of Comfort Food!
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