Original post- June 24, 2013
Friday night we tried another one of the freezer dishes. It was a broccoli, cheese, and chicken casserole. I already have one recipe that I make regularly, but this was a vastly different recipe and it seemed like a good dish to try (plus I was positive I could freeze it). Also, I was really wanting to find a good, fast yeast roll recipe. I found one called 30 minute rolls. They were amazing!
The casserole was pretty simple. I cooked the chicken, broccoli, and rice a few weeks ago when I made the casserole, so it didn’t have to spend too much time in the oven. I will admit that I overcooked (ahem…burned) the rice to the point that I’m still trying to get the rice off the bottom of my pan. It has been soaking off and on for two weeks now and I’ve even tried putting Bar Keeper’s Friend in the pan. I would call it a lost cause, but I’m not done trying yet. I can be annoyingly persistent. Anyhow, I almost didn’t use the rice because the recipe said specifically not to overcook the rice. I was in “waste not” mode so I used it anyway. Thankfully, we didn’t even notice it upon re-heating. If you make this recipe, make sure you have a very large bowl. I mean really, really large. I have the general small, medium, and large nesting bowls and my largest bowl has never let me down. Until now… I kept spilling everywhere! I didn’t have anything large enough to mix the casserole in so I eventually had to split it into two separate bowls.
I took the casserole out two nights before I intended to use it. Since I had frozen it flat, I wanted to make sure that it would be thawed enough to form to the casserole dish. I will do this again in the future as well. It seemed to help it heat up a little faster also. On a side note, I do not like mushrooms so I was sort of dreading trying this recipe because I was afraid of the cream of mushroom soup. I couldn’t taste the mushroom soup at all. I was very aware of it being in the casserole the entire time I was eating it, but it did not stand out among the other flavors.
The yeast roll recipe was a fluke. I found it by typing in something along the lines of “super fast yeast rolls” into the Google search box. My husband got involved in the making of these rolls as he was in and out of the kitchen while the casserole was cooking. I used all-purpose flour and I did not sift it, for those curious. I happened to actually have a hook on my mixer for mixing bread and thank goodness I did! For some reason, and I’m not sure why I thought this is what I was supposed to do, I started trying to mix the dough with the hook in my hand. Such a stupid idea. I couldn’t get it mixed at all. My husband suggested using the mixer for it’s intended purpose. To be honest, I should tell you I had a mishap with the mixer a few months ago and I wasn’t sure if I could use it anymore so that is the reason my brain was thinking of hand mixing. I’m sure I’ll elaborate in a future blog. Anyway, he got the hooks put into the mixer and he and I had to hold the mixer while it was kneading the dough. It was trying to jump off the counter! Once it was mixed and had time to rise a little, I made the dough into balls in my other casserole dish. The dough was a little sticky, but not so much that I needed flour on my hands to form the balls. I was pretty happy with how quick the recipe was. It was also easy, which was great since I had no other plans if this recipe fell through! I should also point out that this is not actually a 30 minute recipe. Maybe other people will not have the same issue, but it was more like 47 minute rolls for me. I didn’t mind, though. They are worth it!
I actually remembered to take pictures so I have those posted below. I did not post them with the recipes because the recipes do not belong to me and I didn’t want the pictures tagged to them. The first is a picture of the casserole. The second is the rolls while they were resting. The third is when I remembered to take a picture and the rolls were under attack. I’m lucky I even got a picture of the finished product!
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Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
10 cups cooked rice (white or brown)-brown is less mushy after frozen
4 cups cooked chicken, chopped (I bake mine in the oven like this.)
4 cups chopped broccoli, lightly steamed (can use frozen or fresh)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (or 2 batches cream of mushroom soup)
2 cans cream of chicken soup (or 2 batches cream of chicken soup)
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
To freeze: Divide into four ziptop freezer bags and seal tightly. Freeze flat.
To serve: Thaw overnight (or for 8 hours) in the refrigerator. Dump into a greased casserole dish (each bag will fill an 8×8-inch pan; two bags will fill a 9×13-inch pan). Sprinkle with additional shredded cheese, if desired.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly.
This recipe makes around 15-18 servings. Each freezer bag serves 4-5 people.
30- Minute Rolls
1 C plus 2 Tbsp warm water
1/3 C oil
2 Tbsp yeast
1/4 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 C bread flour (seems to work better but all purpose flour will also work)
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
In your mixer bowl combine the water, oil, yeast and sugar and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Using your dough hook, mix in the salt, egg and flour.
Knead with hook until will incorporated and dough is soft and smooth. (Just a few minutes)
Form dough into 12 balls and then place in a greased 9 x 13 pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown.