Ok people, we started off with the Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Bake from @easymealpreprecipes on Instagram. Here are the reasons we made this recipe first:
- It got some love on Instagram voting
- It seemed very easy
- It looks perfect for a busy weeknight
- I felt like trying it
The Grade: C+
Overall, this recipe was VERY easy to throw together! I mean, just watch that Instagram video. Throw it all in a 9×13 pan, stir, top with chicken, throw in oven. No extra bowls!!! This recipe does get an A+ for “easy to make/prep.”
It also had great flavor. Did I add a few tweaks, of course I did. I seasoned the chicken before throwing it in the oven. I would give it an A on flavor. I mean it is hard to go wrong with cheesy broccoli rice.
It does take a while to cook in the oven (55 minutes total) but as long as you are prepared for that going in, I don’t think that should be a major issue.
The issue was the rice. The video just says rice. To me that is long grain white rice. If you mean a different kind of rice, you must specify! I have struggled with rice not cooking in casseroles before. However, this cooked for 50 minutes while covered so I had high hopes. Nope. Rice was still not cooked and crunchy. That texture really threw the whole thing off. I give it an F on texture. Maybe it was supposed to be Minute Rice? That may be a game changer and take this recipe up to an overall A. But, as that is not what was specified, I would not know.
One more thing: I was nervous about the chicken breasts cooking for almost an hour, covered, at 375. That is a really long time for a chicken breast, especially at that temp when covered. I wanted large chicken breasts so I didn’t have to worry about them being overcooked. Well, I thought there were 3 breasts in the package I bought. It was a 2.39 lb package. There were only 2! I got bionic chicken breasts… but they were delicious.
Tweaks I made to the recipe:
- I sprayed the baking dish with Pam before adding any ingredients
- I used a 12oz bag of cleaned, broccoli florets from Trader Joe’s. I did cut them into smaller pieces.
- I used one entire 14.5 oz can of chicken broth instead of measuring out 1 1/2 cups. So, just a little extra broth.
- I sprinkled the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder before throwing it in the oven.
If you make this with Minute Rice let me know how it turns out. If I make it one day with Minute Rice I will let you know how it turns out. The flavor really was excellent.
In the meantime, I would stick with my recipe for Easy Chicken Divan. It is a little more time consuming to prep, uses a few more ingredients but the flavor is amazing and it turns out every time! Plus, you can prep it ahead of time and keep it in the freezer. I do make rice as a side dish when I make Chicken Divan. So yes, more steps… but the rice isn’t crunchy.