Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Rice Bake
I decided to whip myself up a big batch of cheesy broccoli and chicken with brown rice for the next few days. I made a (cheaper, plainer) version of this when I was in university and had an intense craving for it today. I hope you love it as much as I do! If you want to make this vegetarian, see the italicised notes in the ingredients list and method.
1 1/2 - 2 cups of dried brown rice
3 - 4 cups of chicken stock (sub for vegetable stock if making vegetarian)
1 head of broccoli, chopped into small florets
1 large onion, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 chicken breasts, chopped into chunks (sub for more broccoli/sweetcorn/vegetables or halloumi if making vegetarian)
Chicken Seasoning: 1 teaspoon of salt; 1 teaspoon of black pepper; 1 teaspoon of white pepper; 1 teaspoon of paprika; 1/2 a teaspoon of garlic powder; 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger; 1 teaspoon of celery salt; 1/2 a teaspoon of mustard powder
5 tablespoons of mascarpone
1 cup of grated cheddar
1/4 cup of grated parmesan
A large bunch of fresh herbs finely chopped: (I used thyme, parsley, and basil)
Rinse your rice until the water runs clear or soak the rice overnight in cold water. Place the rice into a pot and pour over your chicken stock. Bring to the boil then cover and leave to gently simmer on low heat until cooked (about 30-40 minutes).
Preheat your oven to 180c (fan bake).
Roast or steam your broccoli until cooked. I roast the broccoli florets in the oven with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper for 15 minutes. Set the broccoli aside. If making this vegetarian coat the broccoli in the chicken seasoning mix (or if using halloumi then follow the steps for the chicken but replace with halloumi)
Mix together the chicken seasoning spices then coat your chicken pieces in the seasoning mix.
Place a pan over a medium heat and add a good drizzle of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken breast pieces in - don't crowd the pan, do this in two batches if you have to. Sear for 2-3 minutes either side then place in a bowl and set aside.
Add another drizzle of olive oil to the pan then add your onion and capsicum. Sauté until soft then add in the minced garlic for 1 minute. Mix your rice in then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
To the mixing bowl add the chicken, broccoli, mascarpone, 3/4 cup of the cheddar, chopped thyme, and half the chopped parsley. Mix well then transfer to an oven proof dish.
Top the mixture with the rest of the cheddar and the parmesan. Add a crack of black pepper over the top then bake for 8-10 minutes and grill for 3-5 minutes.
Serve up with fresh basil and parsley and enjoy!