Although the yellow and green squash give this chicken and rice casserole a colorful appearance, you can use one or the other, if you prefer.
Cooking spray or 2 tsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 (8-ounce) bone-in chicken breast half, skinned
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 (8-ounce) zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 (8-ounce) yellow squash, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 cups cooked long-grain white rice
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray or olive oil. Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon pepper; add chicken, meaty side down, to pan. Cook 6 minutes or until browned; turn chicken over. Add broth to pan. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan, reserving broth in pan. Let chicken stand 10 minutes. Remove chicken from bones; shred. Discard bones. Place chicken in a large bowl.
Bring broth to a boil; cook, uncovered, until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 10 minutes). Add broth mixture to chicken. Melt butter in pan over medium-high heat. Add squash to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add squash mixture, rice, and minced rosemary to the chicken mixture, and toss gently to combine.
Place flour in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; let stand 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup cheese; stir with a whisk until smooth. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, milk mixture, and salt to chicken mixture; stir to combine. Spoon chicken mixture into a broiler-safe 8-inch ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese over rice mixture; bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove casserole from oven.
Broil casserole 5 minutes or until golden.
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Look, use rotisserie chicken...or make your own shredded up chicken. Make a medium white sauce....that's 2 T flour 2 T Butter and 2 c milk....can reduce milk if you like...blend in cheese I also would probably do my sauce using half stock half milk....or whatever. Saute your veggies...squash sounds lovely...add whatever veggies to taste...onions, mushrooms etc...saute it all up in butter....then go ahead and combine it all. Why this is written to be so labor intensive is ridiculous...doesn't make you a good cook to have it read like a surgical procedure!
I really enjoyed this casserole and I will definitely make this again. Instead of using a chicken breast, I just boiled a few boneless, skinless, chicken breast and shredded them. I also added fresh garlic along with the onion. I added the shredded chicken and the chicken broth and let it reduce with the chicken in the broth. I also seasoned the creamy sauce made with milk. I added salt, pepper. a pinch of red pepper flakes, and some seasoning salt. I also used a casserole cheese mix rather than the fresh Romano the recipe called for.The key to this casserole is seasoning, otherwise it'll turn out pretty bland. ALSO, I would mix everything together and then layer the zucchini on the main mixture, then add the cheese on top.
I really enjoyed this casserole, but wow, was it time-intensive. It took me about 2 hours of involved cooking time to get this ready and in the oven. I did make a few changes, I used about double the amount of squash and zucchini, and added mushrooms to the mix as well. I also used one boneless skinless chicken breast in place of half a bone-in chicken and it came out just fine. Because of the additional veggies, I found that 1 1/2 cups milk mixture wasn't enough, so I doubled it and it worked perfectly. I used a 9x13 pan and didn't bother broiling. It made 8 servings. I think next time it might be a good idea to double the chicken though. The end result was really delicious, but this is definitely not a quick dish.
It does go into the oven very soupy - don't expect the 2% milk to thicken much with just some flour - but it comes out great. I used my own stock, added a tomato as was suggested below, and used Asiago cheese in place of Romano.