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Chicken Licken

Funny from how and where inspirations come. From comments provided by readers, passing strange vegetables in the grocers, finding odd, long lost boxes of grains in the cabinets and last pickings from the garden or maybe a knock on the noggin; all ideas seem to transpire and come together somewhat miraculous into hopefully a delicious meal fit for friends, family, you my readers and me.

The idea for this recipe reminds of the fable Henny Penny, of the many times when I go into the kitchen unprepared and without a clue. Yes, it happens to me too. Reaching into the cupboard some days I need a little more help, be it from the crisper drawer, from the farmers market, local grocer and sometimes it calls for a good shout to the Lord. Show me a sign, please. Drop an acorn on my head or something. Give me a little guidance; show a little mercy, I need a little direction quick before I start running off crazy to the store… Speaking of the guy, unlike Chicken Licken, aka Chicken Little or Hen Len, Henny Penny is the only character of the fable whose last name does not begin in the letter L. The fox, drake, cock, duck, turkey, and goose … all last names start with a L ... how many of these last names can you name?

Back to the casserole. You can always count on God and good friends to give you the nudge just when you need it. Take this recipe for example. Carol Egbert, whose beautiful art, reads, and recipes I just love, transcended such a push with a comment on my Calico Pickled Salad saying it is ‘fun to have a recipe that says use what you have’. The comment came just as I starting thinking about a chicken rice casserole with nothing much on hand. Folks it don’t get better than that.


The casserole needs chicken, that’s a given if it’s going be a chicken casserole. Using rice or another grain, whatever vegetables you have on hand like asparagus, leeks, broccoli florets, corn, (I had an onion, button mushrooms and a red bell pepper) seasonings and a little cupboard magic is all that’s needed. I chose not to go for the condensed soup using yogurt and buttermilk instead. You can say I had a homey calling. You can use sour cream and milk if you like. I used long grain white rice but brown rice would be nice too, maybe add more stock. Seasonings and herbs depend on your taste too. Chicken thighs would be tastier.

And I bet you thought Chicken Licken was a meager attempt to describe the taste of the casserole - well, that too. Enjoy!

Homemade Chicken Mushroom Rice Casserole

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cut horizontally in half
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
8 ounces sliced button mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup white wine
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1 cup raw long grain white rice
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1/3 cup toasted plain bread crumbs
    In a large skillet, cover the bottom with olive oil. Heat to medium high heat. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken on both sides and sauté in the hot oil until lightly seared. Drain and set aside. The chicken should still be a little under cooked.

    Lower the heat to medium low. Add the garlic to the oil and swirl around until fragrant. Remove garlic and add the mushrooms increasing the heat to medium high and sauté until light brown. Add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Place the mushroom onion mixture in a bowl and set aside.

    To the pan, deglaze by adding the wine scrapping off any brown bits on the bottom until reduced to about a couple of tablespoons. Add the chicken stock and stir until heated and bubbly. Remove from heat.

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    Add salt and pepper to taste to the sauce in the skillet. Slowly stir in the buttermilk, the yogurt, and Parmesan then stir in the seasonings. Stir in the rice, sweet pepper and fold in the onion mushroom mixture. Place in a greased 13x 9 inch casserole dish.

    Cut or shred the chicken into bite size pieces. Scatter chicken on top of the rice mixture patting down a bit, cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove foil, check moisture to see if more stock is needed or if longer baking time is needed to cook out liquid. Let the top brown a little before sprinkling on the breadcrumbs.

    Post a Comment Blogger Disqus

    1. What a fun post! The chicken dish looks very comforting!

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    2. SO CUTE SOUNDS REALLY DELICIOUS! LOVE THE SAUCE!

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    3. Cute post. Am I giving away my age if I say I remember some of those tales?? Love the chicken casserole...it sounds really great with all the fresh ingredients.

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    4. What a great post.....and I do remember henny penny! what a nice switch from the canned soup to yogurt and buttermilk....so much less salt that way, and I bet it kept the dish even more moist and flavorful!
      thanks for another wonderful creation!

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    5. Hi Drick, once again a very cute and entertaining post. I like the part: a good shout to the Lord, to give you a sign or even throw you an acorn.
      Lovely dish, nothing beats chicken rice casserole as comfort food. Love the addition of yogurt and buttermilk and of course the parmesan cheese.

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    6. What a great "fill in the blank" casserole. There are so many ways you can change this and still have a delicious meal. It's all about knowing your ingredients and what they will contribute.

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    7. Haha...Chicken Licken......love the story. I remember reading that to my girls when they were little. Now I hope someone will read to me...haha. Maybe you should read it and put on youtube so that I can tune in to listen :D Love your dish...mmmm....delicious I know. So much good ingredients there.

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    8. Yum--sounds great, filling and healthy!

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    9. Henny PENNY!!! I love the story.... heh

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    10. Sounds like a great dish. Never have enough chicken casserole recipes.

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    11. This dish brings back memories. My mother make a dish similar to this. It was a family favorite. I love the seasonings you've used in your version.

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    12. This sounds very much like me! haha... Sometimes, I really have no idea what to cook for the day. Just sitting there staring at the pantry. I think this rice pot sounds fabulous. Thanks for sharing. Hope you're enjoying your day, DRick. Have fun!
      Cheers, Kristy

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    13. Wow,what a list of ingredients...Sounds fantastic:)

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    14. I definately need to make this for the hubs. That sounds fantastic Drick. I doubt there would be any leftovers!

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