Monday, October 6, 2008

Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole

Ooooh, this was a fantastic meal!

This past weekend, D and I had some house guests. I wanted to make a nice dinner for them, and set out browsing some of my Cooking Light magazines for a dish that was suitable for their dietary needs due to dieting, cultural and religious reasons.

I found this recipe in the March 2008 issue and decided to give it a go. The recipe called for chicken thighs, but I used skinless, boneless chicken breasts. The magazine offered up nutritional information for the entree itself, but I am not sure how using chicken breasts vs chicken thighs might have altered that content.

In any case, here is the nutritional information for the casserole entree itself:

498 calories
19 grams of fat
38 grams of protein
43 grams of carbs

3 mg of iron

765 mg of sodium
(mine had less because I omitted the salt)

With this entree, we had broiled tomatoes and Green Beans with warm bacon dressing.

The recipe called for regular pork bacon, but I used turkey bacon to accommodate our guests restrictions. It was pretty good and I didn't miss the additional fat the pork bacon would have added to the meal.

The dinner was wonderful.

Dinner Tonight was:
Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole

Green Beans with warm Bacon dressing

Broiled Tomatoes

Ingredients for Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole

  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (3.5 ounces) boil-in-a-bag brown rice (I actually cooked brown rice instead of using this)
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of thyme
  • 2 cups of fat free, lower sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons of whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; saute 2 minutes. Add garlic; saute 30 seconds. Add cooked rice to pan; saute 30 seconds. Spoon rice mixture from skillet into a large casserole dish coated with cooking spray in an even layer.
  3. Arrange chicken breasts in a single layer over rice mixture. Combine broth and cream in bowl; whisk. Pour over chicken and rice mixture. Sprinkle thyme over chicken evenly.
  4. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until chicken is done.

Makes 4 servings

Green Beans in Warm Bacon Dressing Ingredients
  • 1 lb fresh, trimmed green beans
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 1/4 cup shallots
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  1. Cook green beans in boiling water for 3 minutes.
  2. Drain.
  3. Cook 4 strips of bacon in skillet over medium heat until crisp.
  4. Remove bacon from pan and crumble
  5. Add shallots to pan drippings; cook for 3 minutes
  6. Add 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar; cook 1 minute (I didn't do this)
  7. Add green beans. Toss to coat
  8. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

Broiled Tomatoes
  • 4 tomatoes
  • basil
  • parmesan cheese

  1. Halve the tomatoes
  2. sprinkle with basil and Parmesan
  3. Broil for 2-3 minutes