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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Summer Squash, Chicken and Rice Casserole

I know, it's another zucchini recipe when the prime zucchini time has probably passed for most people.  They might be hanging out at many local farmer's markets though, so I wanted to get this up for those end of the season stragglers.  It calls for one yellow summer squash and one zucchini, but you could use two of either one, depending on your local supply.  This recipe makes a great side dish, or can be a main dish with a nice side salad.  It's a quick and easy way (even quicker if you use a to use up a decent amount of squash at once, and would make a great potluck dish or something to take to a sick/recovering friend or family member.  It's cheesy and creamy and comforting.  Yum.

Summer Squash, Chicken and Rice Casserole

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 8 ounces)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chicken broth (about 1 can)
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces), halved lengthwise then thinly sliced
1 medium yellow summer squash (about 8 ounces), halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced
2 cups cooked long-grain rice (I used brown)
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the oil to the pan, swirling to coat.  
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.  Place chicken in the pan.  Cook, turning once, about 6 minutes per side.  Remove chicken from pan and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Add chopped onion to skillet, using a touch more oil if necessary and reducing the heat to medium.  Cook until softened and turning golden, 5-7 minutes. 
  • Add broth to pan and increase heat to medium-heat, bringing broth to a simmer.  Simmer until reduced by half.  
  • While the broth is simmering, shred the chicken and place in a large bowl.  When the broth is reduced add the broth and onions to the bowl with the chicken. 
  • Return pan to heat and melt butter.  Add zucchini and yellow squash to pan, sauteing until softened and just starting to brown, about 4 minutes.  Add squash to bowl with chicken.  Also add rice and rosemary to the bowl.  Stir to combine.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat stir flour.  As you stir the flour, slowly pour in milk, making sure to stir or whisk until smooth.  Bring to a boil.  Cook one minute, until thickened.  
  • Remove from heat and add in 1/4 cup of the cheese.  Stir until smooth and add in 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper.  Add milk mixture to the large bowl of the chicken mixture.  
  • Transfer chicken mixture to the prepared 8x8 baking dish.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and place in the oven.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  
  • Remove from oven and turn on broiler.  Broil casserole until golden, about 5 minutes. 

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