April 5, 2011

Asparagus Chicken Casserole

3 to 4 chicken breasts
1 15 oz can of asparagus, undrained (tips and pieces or whole. If whole, you will need to cut into pieces)
1 10.5 oz can of cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups brown rice
1/3 cup sour cream (I use reduced fat sour cream)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup lemon juice
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
cracker crumbs (I have used Ritz and wheat saltines--both are good)
salt, coarse ground pepper, basil, oregano, parsley to taste

Prepare rice according to package directions, but use half chicken broth (1 1/2 cups) and half water. Season the rice with pinches of oregano, basil, parsley and salt. Cut chicken into small pieces and add to a saute/frying pan. Then add 1/3 cup lemon juice and enough water to almost cover the chicken and add some coarse ground black pepper (to taste) and cook over medium heat. Let it simmer uncovered until about half the liquid has evaporated, then cover and continue to cook until chicken is done. There should still be some liquid left in the pan so in a large bowl, mix the can of asparagus(water and all), the can of soup, the sour cream (add more for taste or extra creaminess), and 1/3-3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (depends on how cheesy you like your casseroles). I always use about 1/3 cup. When the chicken and rice are done, add those to the bowl, adding also about 1/4 cup of the liquid mixture used to cook the chicken. You may also add another teaspoon of lemon juice to the mixture for added tang. Stir well and add to a greased 9x13 casserole dish and top with shredded sharp cheddar and crushed cracker crumbs. Drizzle a little melted butter on top of the cracker crumbs. Bake at 350 for approximately 25-35 minutes. The mixture will bubble at the the sides and the cheese will be fully melted and gooey. ENJOY!!!

This is a variation of my Swedish grandmother's asparagus, chicken and rice casserole. Her recipe was absolutely delicious, as she was a FABULOUS cook. Her recipe is somewhere, but my mom can't find it, so I experimented and came up with this one. I love it and my friends have raved about it! Hope you will like it too!

From Laura Meyer


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