Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Cheesy Broccoli and Rice

I can’t claim any credit for the provenance of the recipe - it’s a Delia, but I do claim the shortcuts as my own!

I love my freezer, and I love my leftovers.  I’m always stashing Ziploc bags of cooked rice, cooked pasta and tubs of cheese sauce for quick meals on lazy days.  This one was put together to use up some leftover cooked broccoli from the day before and is simplicity in itself. 

Quantities depend on how many you are cooking, I think in terms of about 1/3 cup a person. 

This is really nothing more than a simple assembly job!  Defrost a bag of cooked rice (Camargue red rice is flavour of the month here at the moment) and tip into an ovenproof dish.  Top with the cooked broccoli (par cooked would be better if you’re making this from scratch) and then with the cheese sauce.  Add a grating of cheddar and parmesan (if you have it to hand, if not good old cheddar is just as good) and then pop into the oven.  I cooked mine at 200oC (400oF/gas mark 6) for about half an hour – until the cheese is bubbling and the dish is hot right the way through.

My cheat hero ingredient! 

Delia’s original recipe is here :

Baked Chicken and Rice

This recipe is testament to the miracles that can occasionally come out of the kitchen thanks to some frantic fridge raiding and seat of the pants cooking!

I was out walking Holly one sunny Saturday morning when the call came – “cricket’s off, I’m going fishing and I’ll be back in time for tea”.  The poached egg on toast I’d been planning for my tea was never going to satisfy a non-dieting and hungry fisherman so cue some frantic mental stocktaking of the fridge and freezer contents.  It was a huge hit, so much so that I was coaxed into making it again the following week.  The first time I made it I used up some leftover frozen chicken from the freezer, but I’ve made it with fresh chicken breasts since which was almost as good.  If I’m honest, the smaller chunks of leftover roasted chicken worked better, but that’s just a personal preference.

For two people I used :
2 sticks of celery

1 medium carrot

½ a leek (or all of a very small one)

1 small carton of chestnut mushrooms (approximately two cups when chopped)

Knob of butter

¾ - 1 cup of rice – I used a mixture of Camargue red, wild and white basmati rice

About a cup or so of leftover cooked chicken, or two whole chicken breasts.

1 ½ - 2 cups of chicken stock (double the volume of the rice you used)

Finely dice the celery, leek and carrot and add to the butter in a small frying pan over a low heat.  Clean the mushrooms and chop half of them finely and add to the frying pan.  Coarsely slice the remainder of the mushrooms and add those too, together with a seasoning of ground black pepper and sweat gently for 10 – 15 minutes.

Add the rice to an ovenproof dish and make up the stock – I like Knorr stock pots best for this sort of thing.

Turn the vegetables together with their buttery juices into the dish with the rice and combine together, pour over the stock and season with salt to taste.  If you’re using leftover cooked chicken add this to the dish as well now.  If you’re using fresh chicken breasts brown them first in a little butter, season with a little salt and pepper and then add them to the dish.

Cover with foil and bake at 200oC (400oF/gas mark 6) for about an hour, until the rice is cooked and all the stock is absorbed.  If you like, you can uncover for the last 10 – 15 minutes to finish browning the chicken.