Thursday, January 8, 2009

Chicken and Sausage Casserole

It's cold in Virginia right now, which means I'm totally up for comfort food. While this casserole isn't the most exciting dish ever created, it fits the bill (at least in my mind) as comfort food. What's more, it's a staple from my childhood. So, thanks Mom, for sending me this recipe. It's a hit in our house.

Mom Carter's (Not So Famous) Chicken and Sausage Casserole
1 cup white rice
1 package Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup
4 1/2 cups water
1/2 bell pepper
1 onion, chopped
1/2 bunch celery, chopped
1 can tuna or chicken
1 to 2 pounds sausage, cooked and crumbled

1. Brown and crumble sausage. Drain. Add onion, celery and green pepper.
2. Combine soup mix and water. Cook for five minutes.
3. Combine sausage, soup and raw rice in casserole dish. Add chicken or tuna.
4. Bake at 350 until rice is done (between 45 minutes and 1 hour). Stir partway through cooking to avoid over-browning the casserole.

Optional add-ins:
Raw ramen noodles (no seasoning packet)
Curry powder

Lessons learned: To cut baking time, partially pre-cook the rice and then reduce the water by the amount used to cook the rice. I found some low-fat sausage that doesn't have any grease to drain. Also, I omit the bell pepper since my family doesn't like it. The ramen, though, is a must! If you don't have Lipton soup mix, use a low-sodium chicken bullion powder or the chicken-flavored ramen seasoning packet.

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