Friday, August 21, 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken and Mushroom Rice Casserole

This casserole will remind you of an often repeated scene in the popular show, Leave It to Beaver, with Mrs. Cleaver, wearing pearls, lipstick and petticoated dress,  baking and serving a casserole to her family.  In my case I made this casserole wearing a duster and served it later in my gym outfit to my husband Bob, my picky taster, not once but twice and he loved it every time.  I did not have to heat up the house either by cooking it in the oven like Mrs Cleaver.  I used my slow cooker where I just added all the ingredients and forgot it while I blogged, shopped and did Zumba in the gym.

The challenge is finding the right ratio of rice to liquid.  You want the rice cooked but not overcooked.  When cooking a rice dish in the slow cooker you cannot use the ratio of rice to liquid that one uses when cooking rice by other means like in the stove, oven or rice cooker or you would get an unevenly cooked rice with some still uncooked while others fully cooked. I used a ratio of 1 cup brown rice to 3 cups liquid.  The resulting consistency of the rice using this ratio in this dish is more reminiscent of risotto than that of a fluffy pilaf.  This is complemented by the refreshing taste from the lemon and green onions plus the wonderful meaty texture of the mushroom and crunch from the celery. Of course everything is good with cheese so do increase the amount suggested or add another kind like Parmesan.

Btw, to give a face to my picky taster, my husband Bob, here are his pictures in the last opera he was in, Madame Butterfly, as the strict and scary uncle of the heroine.  He is a chemist in his day job and a baritone in his spare time or most of the time.  He loves to sing.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Mushroom Rice Casserole


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (about 1 lb), whole or cubed
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 3 cups water 
  • 2 chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup sliced mushroom, fresh or canned, drained
  • 3 stalks of celery, cut into half inch pieces
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup minced dry onions
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup cheese of your choice, divided 
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped, divided
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch (optional)
Place all the ingredients using half of the cheese and half of the green onions in the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.  I cooked mine in an Aroma brand rice cooker/slow cooker for two hours at slow cooker setting.

At the end of cooking if there some liquid left, add the cornstarch to thicken the mixture.  Add the rest of the cheese and green onions on top.

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