It's taken me a long time to finally land the perfect chicken broccoli and rice bake. There are so many out there and this has the best of all of them mixed into one creamy, cheesy delicious dish. I have very picky eaters, when the kids ask what's for dinner chances are I'll be met with at least one groan. Unless I'm making this. I think this is the only dish that every single kid gets excited about when I tell them what I'm making. And it even has broccoli in it. And the husband devours it. You can't get much better than that. It's a good thing it makes lots because everyone will be going back for seconds!
2 tablespoons butter
1-2 heads of broccoli
1 1/4 cups long grain white rice
4 cups chicken broth
3/4 cups heavy cream
½ C half-and-half (or milk)
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 chicken breasts
1 C shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
¾ C bread crumbs
3 Tbs butter
Cook chicken in the crock pot on low for 5-6 hours then shred. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat, add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is translucent, about 1 minute. Stir in broth, cream, half-and-half, and salt and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer 20-25 minutes. Preheat oven to 400. Add 3 Tbs water and broccoli florets in a microwave safe bowl, cover then microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. When the rice is done, remove from heat and stir in 2 cups cheddar cheese, cayenne, chicken and broccoli florets. Pour the mixture into a greased baking dish. For the topping, melt butter in small pan and sauté bread crumbs until lightly brown. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup shredded cheese on top then cover with bread crumbs and bake until the sauce is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving.
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