Since we moved to the mountains a couple of months ago, we’ve established a couple of new traditions. One of those traditions is to eat brunch at Cracker Barrel on the Saturdays that we drive into Asheville for shopping and playing.
As a rule, we generally get breakfast items, but the last two trips, the Irishman has elected to get the Sunday Chicken and Rice dish for lunch. Apparently, chicken and rice casserole dishes are comfort food for him. Really? I thought everyone was raised on grilled octopus and lentil soup. Weird.
Anyway, he was raving about it and being the loving and attentive wife that I am, I had a taste of the rice part of the dish to see what was in it. Ok, so I’m not really that attentive, but I’m always looking to add easy dishes into our dinner rotation for the boys and it generally doesn’t get much easier than a casserole; however, I allow my husband to think that I do these things to be a doting and kind wife. All wives do that, right? Catch more flies with honey and all that. Of course, it could just be my diabolic nature, but I digress.
What I tasted in the dish was mushrooms (both whole mushrooms and in the form of cream of mushroom soup), celery, onions and pepper. So, with that for a beginning, I got to work searching for recipes. After seeing a couple that looked promising, I picked the best mix of what I thought would work and I put it to the test.
Here’s what you need for this one (you can multiply the ingredients depending on how many you’re feeding):
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup rice
1 cup water
1 can mushrooms
1/2 packet Onion Soup Mix
2 chicken breasts
Sprinkling of garlic salt and pepper
Now, for the insanely easy part. (Oh yeah, go ahead and preheat your oven to 325 degrees.) In a casserole dish, mix together the two cans of soup, water, rice, garlic salt and pepper until it’s thoroughly combined. Next, lay the chicken breasts on top (they’ll probably sink, but that’s ok). Sprinkle the half packet of Onion Soup Mix over the whole thing. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for about 90 minutes. Viola!
This is how I dished it up for the Irishman. Of course, mine looked like this, but without the chicken.
I just have one word for you. Success. Warm, comforting success. My silly husband had a smile on his face the entire time he was eating it and I have to say, I guess the warm richness of the dish is in fact comforting even if there’s no octopus to be found. I’m actually making this in a couple of days when I’m in charge of feeding both sets of our parents and Parker’s great-grandmother. Hopefully, they’ll be as charmed by it as the Irishman was.