Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chicken and Mushroom Casserole

It's cold and grey and rainy out. Time for some comfort food. This is delicious and warming and makes the house smell great. It re-heats beautifully and doesn't have a ton of ingredients to shop for, always a plus. 

I don't know how the lemon got in the shot. There is no lemon in this dish.
  • You can find the original recipe here
  • I lightened it a bit by using yogurt instead of the cream and sour cream in the original.
  • I also used brown rice instead of white and compensated by upping the amounts of liquid.
  • I used dry vermouth instead of wine (it's what I had on hand)
  • Caramelizing the onions (instead of just softening them) adds another layer of flavor, but does take extra time. 
  • Don't use a non-stick pan to brown the ingredients. You want browned bits so they can be picked up when you deglaze the pan.

Chicken and Mushroom Casserole

Adapted from Simply Recipes

Yield: Serves 6 (with leftovers)

  • 2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces, patted dry
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry or white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup raw, brown rice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon each of Italian seasoning and poultry seasoning (or 2 teaspoons of one of these herb mixes, or 2 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, and basil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)


1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high or high heat (hot enough to brown but not burn). Sprinkle a dash of salt on the bottom of the pan. Season the chicken pieces all over with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown the chicken pieces on two sides, about 1-2 minutes per batch. Add a little more salt to the pan (and more olive oil if needed) after every batch. This will help prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan. Remove chicken pieces and put into the casserole dish.

2 In the same sauté pan add 1 Tbsp olive oil, lower the heat to medium, add the onions, and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cook 30 seconds more. Remove onions and garlic the casserole dish.
3 Raise heat to medium high, add the sliced mushrooms. Dry sauté them (no need to add butter or oil), allowing the mushrooms to brown lightly, and release some of their moisture. Add the mushrooms to the casserole dish. Add the rice. Add the seasonings (or fresh herbs) and paprika. Stir so that all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

All the browned ingredients together
4 Add 1/4 cup dry sherry or dry white wine to the pan to deglaze the pan, scraping off the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the sherry reduce to about 1 Tbsp, then add the chicken stock, and remove from heat. Stir in the salt and yogurt. Then pour the stock, sherry, yogurt mixture over the rice.
Before putting it in the oven.
5 Cover the casserole dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in a 375°F oven for 45 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.

Fresh out of the oven.  It's not all that pretty, but it tastes great!

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