Chicken Broccoli Casserole with Rice (sans Condensed Soup!)

Pin It It's hard to find condensed soups here, well up until a month ago, anyway.  They just recently introduced Condensed Soups to the Belgian market.  If it would have been before my cooking days, I would probably be buying them regularly, throwing them in any chicken, cheesy, mushroom dish I want and loving every minute of it.  But, since I have been on this cooking streak, it doesn't seem right to eat something so full of preservatives, sodium and who knows what else.

My favorite meal growing up was a casserole my mom makes whenever I am home (still to this day) with chicken, broccoli, cheese, egg noodles and condensed soup.  I have made it a few times myself, but moving to Belgium, I needed to find a different option. It was tricky at first, even a lot of the recipes on foodnetwork.com (my prior go to) had condensed soup in the ingredient list.  That was at least, until I met my trusty friend Pinterest (yes we all know and love her), and came across Jonna's Chicken Broccoli Supreme on her blog Get Off Your Butt and Bake!  (side note: My S-I-L also recently made her Parmesan  Pretzel Bites and said they were to die for!  Will definitely need to try that one soon.)  Back on topic... See my adapted version of Chicken Broccoli Casserole with Rice (sans Condensed Soup!) Side note: the house smells like buttered corn flakes as I write this, which believe me is nothing short of amazing.  Make this casserole, if only for the smells (I dare you)! 

Start preheating the oven to 350 (176 Celsius, for my Belgian friends).  Then rub down 2 chicken boobs with some paprika and freshly ground pepper.  Yes, rub them down.  Do not be afraid.  Place in a glass pan with 1/3 cup water and bake.
While the chicken is baking, start lightly steaming chopped broccoli and cook rice.
Start sauteeing the chopped leek until clear, shiny and tender.
Shred the chicken into bite size pieces, once done (internal temperature should be about 165 degrees F).
Grease a casserole dish, then line chicken, cooked rice and the lightly steamed broccoli.  Set aside.
Melt the butter.  Then slowly add the cornstarch dissolved in cold water, chicken broth, milk, and salt & pepper.  Cook on low heat until thickened.
Add the cheese mixture until melted.  
Pour the sauce mixture over the layered chicken, rice and broccoli.  Top with the sauteed leeks and some extra shredded cheese. 
Melt butter and mix with cornflakes (yum, buttery corn flakes).  Don't feel guilty.  It's worth it.  Top your casserole mixture with the cornflakes and bake for about 25 minutes, until bubbly.

Oh it is delicious... and honestly, the leftovers were even better (I love dishes like that!) Maybe my "Taste Tester" should vouch for me in the comments section (if he even reads my blog ;)

Chicken Broccoli Casserole with Rice

2 chicken breasts
1/2 tsp paprika
3/4 cup (uncooked) rice cooked
2 heads of broccoli, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 cup cold water 
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
Dash of Salt
1 3/4 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I used cheddar and gouda, as usual)
2 and 1/2 tbs Parmesan Cheese

1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cup cornflakes


Preheat oven to 350 F (176 C).  

Start by rubbing paprika on the chicken breasts.  Once covered, put a dash of cracked pepper on the top.  Bake in oven until internal temperature is 165 degrees. 

While chicken is baking, lightly steam the chopped broccoli (about 7 minutes over boiling water) and sautee chopped leeks until clear, shiny and tender.  

Once Chicken is cooked, shred into bite size pieces.  Line a greased casserole dish with rice, broccoli and shredded chicken.

Start melting 1/3 cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Slowly add the dissolved cornstarch, chicken stock, milk, and cracked pepper.  Turn heat down and stir occasionally until thickened.  Add 1 cup of shredded cheese and the parmesan.  Once cheese is melted, pour over mixture in casserole dish.  Top with the sauteed leeks and the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.  Mix the corn flakes (crushed a bit, if you prefer) with 1/3 cup melted butter.  Once flakes are coated evenly, top your casserole dish.  Bake in oven at 350 F for about 25 minutes.

Bon Appetit.  PLEASE do yourself a favor and save some for leftovers.  We reheated ours on the stove the next day (we don't have a microwave, crazy, I know) and it was soooo GOOD.

Chop the broccoli in smaller pieces, especially if you plan on taking a photo! 


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