Monday, June 8, 2015

Salsa Chicken and Rice Casserole

Yes, I know there’s a good chance it’s hot where you are and the last thing you want to think about is firing up the oven, but hear me out. You won’t need to spend much active time in the kitchen to put this delicious dinner together -- start the chicken in your slow cooker before you go to bed and you’ll have a pot full of delicious, shredded, salsa-y goodness waiting for you in the morning, which you can then stash in the fridge until you’re ready to make dinner. Cook the rice while preheating the oven, quickly stir everything together once the rice is done, plunk everything into your trusty Pyrex baking dish, and pour yourself a frosty beverage to enjoy during those 20 minutes of bake time. No biggie, right?

Salsa Chicken and Rice Casserole 
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 ½ cups of your favorite tomato-based salsa
¾ cup white rice
1 ½ cups water
¾ cup corn kernels
4 ounces sliced black olives
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
1 7 ¾ ounce can El Pato tomato sauce with jalapeño
7 ounces diced green chiles
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
⅓ cup sliced green onions

Combine chicken and salsa in slow cooker and cook, on low, for 8 hours. Shred chicken with fork and knife and stir to blend with salsa. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring water to boil in large saucepan. Add rice, reduce heat, cover and cook until rice is tender. Remove from heat. Stir in chicken and salsa mixture, corn, olives, beans, tomato sauce, chiles, cumin and chili powder until everything’s combined. Transfer mixture to 9-by-13 baking dish. Top with shredded cheese, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with green onions and serve.

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