Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chicken and Rice Casserole

 Farmers Wife Original.

Just about everyone I know grew up with a recipe similar to this one. The basics, chicken with creamy rice, baked in a casserole dish = yummy, fatty, goodness. And don't get me wrong, I love the recipe I grew up on, I really do. I don't, however like using an entire stick of butter to make it, and fatty loaded condensed soups. YUCK! I've been trying to lose weight the last year, and so far I've been pretty successful, I've lost almost 12 lbs. in the last 6 months and am very happy with that number, gone down 3 pant sizes (if you're a girl you'll get just how significant that is!!) and have been trying to feed my family healthier foods. Well this was one of my attempts to lower the fat in a favorite recipe to fit into my limited calorie intake for a day. And I have to say, I think it was pretty darn successful! We really liked this recipe, even my little sous chef devoured his portion, and I've never gotten him to eat it before now. This is not a difficult recipe by any stretch of the imagination, but it is tasty, and filling without all the unnecessary calories. I highly recommend this recipe, and you can make it based on your preferences too. My original recipe calls for 1 can of each Cream of Chicken, Cream of Celery and Cream of Mushroom soup, but my Hubby doesn't like celery, so we just do 2 cans of Mushroom and we love it.

5-6 Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 1/4 cup Long Grain White Rice (you can use brown, but the cooktime will be longer for the rice)
1 Can Low Fat, Low Sodium Cream of Chicken Soup
2 Cans Low Fat, Low Sodium Cream of Mushroom Soup
Salt and Pepper
Garlic Powder

Lightly grease a 9x13 in. pan. In a skillet, heat the olive oil. While heating, season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic. Place in the hot skillet and cook until lightly browned. Once done, set aside. Pour the rice and soups into the pan and cook until boiling. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. While your oven in heating, continue to cook the rice. Once the rice is starting to plump, about 10-15 minutes, pour into the greased pan. Place the chicken on top and cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Serve warm.

Now I know it's still not the lightest meal in the whole wide world, but at only about 573 calories (depends on the brand of soup you use, mine was only 50 cal. per can most are still closer to 80cal.) per serving (and it's a large serving), I'm still very pleased with it. Overall it is much lighter than the original, and is far better than a giant burger and fries! lol! To me a good dinner is between 350-600 calories, and dinner is my largest meal of the day. Anyway, I hope you give this a try, the cook time is long, but it is an incredibly easy meal, and one that if you do dishes while cooking will only leave you with the casserole dish and the dishes you ate with to clean after dinner! 4 stars.

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