Salsa Chicken Rice Casserole

contributed by Laura Thompson

1 1/3 cups uncooked white rice

2 2/3 cups water (this is for the rice, and I actually used 1 and 1/3 cup chicken stock and 1 cup water–I think it adds flavor)

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (any combo of cheeses will work)

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1 (10.75 ounce) can  condensed cream of chicken soup

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups mild salsa

Place rice and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place chicken breast halves into a large saucepan, and fill the pan with water. Bring to a boil, and cook for 20 minutes, or until done. Remove chicken from water. When cool enough to handle, cut meat into bite-size pieces.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses. In a separate bowl, mix together cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, onion, and salsa. Layer 1/2 of the rice, 1/2 of the chicken, 1/2 of the soup and salsa mixture, and 1/2 of the cheese mixture in prepared dish. Repeat layers, ending with cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until bubbly.

NOTES: I tossed my chicken pieces in a bit of taco seasoning before adding it to the casserole. I also stirred about 1 tbs of taco seasoning into the soup mixture before putting it in the casserole. I also added a can of corn and omitted the onion.  Also-I baked my casserole for 20 minutes without the top layer of cheese, and added the cheese for the last 20 minutes or so. I think it prevented it from getting burnt and crusty.


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