My husband, The Cheese and I have a sweet, southern friend from south Georgia who always ends up at our house for dinner. While I am often feeding him things he has never heard of, or dared to try, I tried this out on him the other night and it was a sure winner. Between our friend and The Cheese the casserole was gone by the end of the night. So much for leftovers.
I love to make this casserole because it is comfort food at its best. Especially when the seasons are changing from summer to fall. This is the perfect dish. I especially love this one because it has no canned soups, preservatives or or any strange or scary ingredients.
OK let’s get to work…
Start by cooking 1/2 cup of brown rice according to package instructions.
While the rice is cooking, over medium heat melt two tablespoons of butter in a saucepan.
Add a couple TB of flour.
Whisk away until the flour and butter are combined. This is called a Roux. (Fancy!)
Slowly add 1 cup chicken stock and 1 cup milk. FYI, I just pour them together into one measuring cup and pour it in slowly. Keep whisking until it thickens.
If it doesn’t seem to be thickening, just let it heat up and come to a low boil. It will thicken right up. Don’t stress, it will happen.
Once it’s thick, add 1 TB garlic powder, 1/2 TB of onion powder, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Then add about 2 cups of shredded chicken (I used the breast meat from a rotisserie chicken and shredded it) and the cooked rice.
Set the chicken gravy aside.
Next, chop about 1/2 a medium onion.
Then dice your zucchini. You want about two cups which is 2 -3 zucchini depending on the size. If you go over or under, no one’s gonna notice. I promise.
Put the veggies in a casserole dish. 9 x 12 or 8 x 11 will both work fine. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp Kosher salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
Pour the chicken gravy over the top along with a 1/2 cup of sour cream.
Mix everything together and spread it evenly in the dish.
Sprinkle about 3/4 cup of Panko breadcrumbs over the top.
Bake at 350 for 45 min. Put under broiler for 2 min at the end of the cooking time to get the breadcrumbs brown and crunchy.
- 2 cups shredded chicken (I used the breast meat of a rotisserie chicken)
- 1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked (I used a combination of brown and wild rice)
- 2 cups zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup white onion, chopped
- 2 TB butter (organic, if possible)
- 2 TB flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup chicken stock (organic, if possible)
- 1 TB garlic powder
- 1/2 TB onion powder
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup - 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs, unseasoned
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- Over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk for 2 minutes until fully combined.
- Slowly whisk in milk and stock. Continue whisking until thickened.
- Add garlic powder, onion powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, shredded chicken and the cooked rice to the sauce.
- Add the zucchini and onion, uncooked, to a 9 x 13 or 8 x 11 casserole dish and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
- Pour the chicken and every bit of sauce over the vegetables and add the sour cream.
- Mix together until combined and spread evenly in the casserole dish.
- Sprinkle the Panko breadcrumbs over the top.
- Bake the casserole at 350 for 45 minutes.
- In the last 2 minutes of cooking place the casserole under the broiler to brown the breadcrumbs. Watch very carefully so they do not burn.
- If the sauce does not seem to be thickening, turn the heat up a bit and allow to come to a very low boil. The mixture should thicken quickly.