Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chicken and Rice Casserole

Chicken and Rice Casserole

Dorcas Annette Walker

A sunny spring day tantalizes my senses and has a way of luring me out of the house. I love discovering what flower or plant has popped out of the ground overnight. Each time I take a break I go outside to sit on my porch and listen to the excited chatter of the birds as they scurry around building nests. This past week I spotted a set of hummingbirds migrating north as they buzzed around my blooming azaleas. I hurried to fill my hummingbird feeders and hung them up. In no time the hummingbirds spotted the feeders and began drinking and dive bombing through the air. It is days like this that I don’t want to spend a lot of time in my kitchen. So I made up my Chicken and Rice Casserole in the crock-pot and then hurried outside to plant some seeds knowing that supper was taken care of.

Speaking of chicken here is some more chicken or rather rooster gossip. My husband was given a hen from someone, who heard that he raised chickens, after deciding that having a pet hen was not what they wanted. Dana put the lovely hen I named Pretty Girl in with the rest of the hens. After a couple of weeks Pretty Girl was still hiding in the henhouse and was looking rather scrawny. Then Dana discovered that Pretty Girl was growing long tail feathers and realized that Pretty Girl was a rooster instead of a hen. So I changed Pretty Girl to Pretty Boy, who was promptly transferred to where the other roosters resided in the rabbit house. Within a month Pretty Boy filled out and became larger than any of the other roosters. Each morning there was a contest of who could crow the loudest. Zebulon, the reigning rooster, was always determined to have the last word or should I say crow. A few times I worried that he would collapse a lung or keel over in his efforts to out-crow the six other roosters.

When the roosters that we were fattening up landed in our freezer, we saved Pretty Boy as he is still not full grown and to help increase our chicken stock for meat. On a daily basis Pretty Boy and Zebulon fought mock battles through the glass window of the rabbit house that adjourns the chicken pen. One warm spring evening after dark my husband transferred Pretty Boy back to the henhouse. Even though Zebulon is clearly outsized, he is still determined to rule the roost. So far Pretty Boy gives Zebulon a wide berth and has only lost a couple of feathers even though he is almost twice as big as his opponent. We are keeping a close eye on our chickens these days as our henhouse nearly gives off sparks with all the electricity generated of two roosters in close quarters.

My Chicken and Rice Casserole is a filling yet quick meal to make. You can bake the Chicken and Rice Casserole in the oven for a couple of hours or put the ingredients in a crock-pot and let simmer on low all day while you are working. Try substituting cream of mushroom instead of onion soup or add vegetables such as carrots or broccoli to create an entire meal. You can alternate beef instead of chicken as well. My Chicken and Rice Casserole takes only ten minutes of preparation and this recipe serves four.

Chicken and Rice Casserole

Mix together in the crock-pot:
2 c rice (white or brown)
4 c warm water
1 tsp salt
1 pkg onion soup mix
1 pkg chicken gravy

4 pieces of chicken (your choice)
Cover and cook on low for at least eight hours until the chicken is tender. Garnish with parsley and serve!

Weekly tip: When making a casserole double the amount needed and store the extra in the freezer for a quick warm-up meal later!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:

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