Monday's Moroccan Chicken was yummy, but as I often do for co-op meals, I cooked too much. I can't stand throwing food away and my kids always complain about having to eat the same thing two nights in a row. The lectures about kids starving all over the
world don't seem work and I tire of the complaining. Don't you feel sorry for these poor kids who have delicious food to eat every night and sometimes the same thing two nights in a row!
I had about a pound and a half of leftover chicken breast pieces, a little over a cup of olives, fruit and onion, and both couscous and yellow saffron rice. I considered making a couscous salad, which I would've enjoyed, but knew the boys would turn their noses
before even tasting it. I'll save the couscous for my own enjoyment. Does it freeze well? Instead I turned back to my
Cooking Light cookbooks and found a lightened up version of Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole. The original recipe called for mushrooms, which I didn't have, and a cracker poppy seed topping. It wasn't a difficult task to switch out the mushrooms for
the dried fruit, olive and onion mixture and substitute some slivered almonds for the poppyseeds (the fruit was sweet enough without adding poppyseeds). Here's what I came up with:
Creamy Moroccan Chicken and Rice Casserole
YIELD: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)
COURSE: Casseroles, Main Dishes
1 (6.9-ounce) package yellow rice
2 1/4 cups hot water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
Vegetable cooking spray
1 1/2 pounds skinned, boned chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Coriander
1/4 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 cup dried fruit
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chopped pitted green olives
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
3/4 cup nonfat sour cream
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can reduced-fat, reduced-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/4 cup crushed multigrain crackers (about 6 crackers)
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
1 tablespoon margarine, melted
Cook rice mix in a large nonstick skillet according to package directions, using 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 1/4 cups hot water. Remove mixture from skillet; set aside.
Wipe skillet with a paper towel.
Add olive oil to skillet and heat to medium-high. Sauté chopped onions until soft. Remove from skillet; set aside.
Coat the skillet with cooking spray, and place over medium-high heat until hot. Sprinkle chicken with spices and toss to combine. Add chicken, mushrooms, and garlic powder;
sauté 6 minutes or until chicken loses its pink color.
While chicken is cooking, heat wine in microwave and soak dried fruit in warm wine to soften.
Combine rice mixture, chicken mixture, fruit, olives, sour cream, pepper, and soup in a bowl; stir well. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray.
Combine cracker crumbs and margarine; stir well, and sprinkle over chicken mixture. Top with slivered almonds. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Make-Ahead Tips: You can assemble the casserole ahead of time, omitting the cracker-crumb mixture; cover and chill in the refrigerator or freeze (thaw frozen casserole
overnight in refrigerator). Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes; top with cracker-crumb mixture, and bake as directed.
YUM! Everyone gave the casserole a thumbs up and cleaned their plate. What more could a mom ask for?