6-8 chicken breast or thighs (if using thghs, boneless, preferred)
2 (10.75 oz.) cans condensed cream of cheddar soup*
1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed cream of herbed chicken*
3 cups cooked white or brown rice
1 1/2 cups milk (whole or 2%)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Bacon , garnish, optional
* Try to use low sodium soup mix
Step 1: If using breast, brine in a mixture of salt and water (about 1/4 cup salt per gallon of water) for 45-minutes in the fridge. Drain and wipe off and continue with recipe.
Step 2: Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
Step 3: In a large bowl, combine cheddar and herbed chicken soups and whole milk and whisk until combined, then whisk in garlic, onion powder, paprika and red pepper flakes. Optional: stir in cheddar cheese if you don’t want to top the casserole with it later.
Step 4: Spread cooked rice out on the bottom of greased baking dish, then top with chicken thighs. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Step 5: Pour soup mixture over chicken and rice, making sure everything is evenly coated, then top with cheddar cheese (if you didn’t already stir it into sauce) or bacon bits, if using.
Step 6: Place baking dish in oven and bake for 30 - 45 for breast and45 -50 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
Step 7: Remove from oven and serve hot.