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Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Bake: Instagram Recipe #1

Ok people, we started off with the Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Bake from @easymealpreprecipes on Instagram.  Here are the reasons we made this recipe first:

  1.  It got some love on Instagram voting
  2. It seemed very easy
  3. It looks perfect for a busy weeknight
  4. 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:

  1. I sprayed the baking dish with Pam before adding any ingredients
  2. I used a 12oz bag of cleaned, broccoli florets from Trader Joe’s.  I did cut them into smaller pieces.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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