Cheat Alert! Just about every chef, home-chef, and one-off cooking person has a couple of cheat recipes up their sleeves for a fast and delicious comfort meal. I love a good casserole because I can throw everything in one dish and toss it into the oven and just walk away effortlessly. Some people love a slow cooker or Instapot for that very same reason. Casseroles are often associated with extra cheesy dishes, but that's not always the case. For example, this one has no cheese and cream is optional. It is, however, a great way to quickly cook and have your food taste like someone was slaving away in the kitchen, when in reality, we were just sitting on the couch. This serves 3 to 4, generously.
1 - 6 oz box of wild rice with seasonings (Sub: any rice flavor)
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced into large chunks (Sub: Chicken breasts)
1 summer yellow squash, sliced into 1-inch chunks
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
1 large celery stalk, ends removed and diced
1 carrot, sliced into 1/4 inch circles
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional)
3/4 cup of whole milk
1 tsp salt + 1 tsp ground white pepper (Sub: black pepper)
Fresh parsley for garnish
1/2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Get a medium casserole dish with a lid or foil. Set aside.
In a measuring cup, add milk and continue to complete the liquid requirements from the box. Ex. if the box says 1 3/4 cups water, add the 3/4 cups of milk, then 1 cup of water.
In a large skillet, heat oil over med-high heat. Once it's hot, add chicken, salt, pepper, and toss around for 2 minutes. Add peppers, garlic, celery, squash and toss for an additional 3 minutes. DO NOT cook the chicken completely.
Add the rice and package seasoning, toss for 1 minute. Then add the liquids.
Bring the pot to a boil for 1 minute, then empty all contents into a casserole dish. Cover the dish immediately and place in the oven for the amount of minutes listed on the box, minus a few minutes.
Remove from oven, fluff with fork, sprinkle the top with parsley and serve hot.