Chicken (or Turkey!) Rice Casserole

by Hilary Gauntt on November 20, 2011

With Thanksgiving looming, it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead for those leftovers.  The next couple of posts are some delicious casseroles that would be wonderful anytime of the year.

This first is from high school friend Melinda Norcott, who really came to my rescue after our family tragedy. She sent cards, books, and recipes and helped organize a  girls reunion weekend to give me a distraction during  that traumatic first year.  She had lost a brother a number of years earlier and felt our pain. Just a lovely woman.

Melinda writes “This old fashioned recipe is from a “Pink Ladies” of Stanford Hospital cookbook, on mimeographed pages held together with brads; yellowed and tattered. It’s from the early 70’s when we actually started cooking and entertaining.  It remains one of the tried and true favorites of our family.”

2 cups cooked sliced or cubed chicken or turkey

2 cups cooked rice (any kind)  * see Note

1 lb. Monterey Jack, most sliced, some grated

3 medium/small zucchini, thinly sliced

1 7 oz. can green chilis, diced or sliced- seeds removed

3 medium tomatoes, sliced

2 cups sour cream (not non-fat)

2 Tbs. green onion, chopped

2 Tbs. green pepper, chopped

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. garlic salt ( I usually just saute some garlic)

buttered bread crumbs  * See Note

chopped parsley

In a well buttered casserole layer: chicken, rice, chilis, sliced cheese (retain some grated for the top) zucchini, tomatoes.  Mix sour cream with the onion, pepper, oregano and garlic (add 1 tsp of salt if using fresh garlic) and spread over the layers.  Cover with grated cheese, bread crumbs and parsley.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Serves 4-6.

Notes: One of my most favorite products at Trader Joe’s is the frozen rice packages that cook perfectly in 3 minutes in the microwave. One pouch provides 2 cups of rice -just right for this recipe or dinner for two. I especially love the brown rice.  Also, I love to top casseroles with Progresso Crispy Bread Crumbs, Italian style. I have made this dish with mozzarella cheese also.

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