Tonight’s dinner was almost a disaster. I mean, it all started out so well. I read the recipe (more than once!) looked at the amount of time I would need to chop things and how long it might take to preheat the oven, and then planned to have it all ready for 5pm. We were low on baked goods (given that a certain someone had just eaten the last oatmeal raisin cookie) so my daughter and I started by making some carrot apple morning glory muffins. They turned out amazingly! And I promise to share the recipe soon.
While the muffins were in the oven, I started chopping the zucchini and mushroom (I do not use canned mushrooms if I can help it). I peeled the skin off the chicken, mixed everything together in the pan and had it ready to go. Right on time, the muffins came out and I popped the casserole in. And my daughter and I went to play Interplanetary Spaceship Ride (all you need is a couch, a blanket and a big imagination).
At this point, I thought all was well! So when the timer went and I uncovered the dish I thought it looked a little underdone. But, trying not to be too suspicious, I followed the recipe and stuck it back in the oven for the required 15 minutes. When I pulled it out again, the top of the chicken looked cooked, but when I cut into it, it was definitely still bloody. And I tried a bit of rice and it was still crunchy! Given that it was 5pm already, I was getting super concerned, trying to think of what else I could make for dinner that would come together quickly.
In the end, I just stuck it back in the oven, covered for another 25 minutes and it came out done and delicious. It’s not the most amazing casserole – I’ve definitely made better. And the amount of time it took to bake was a little much for me! But it’s quite simple to pull together and not expensive at all, so it’s still a contender for a weeknight meal. Just make sure you bake it long enough!
Chicken Drumstick Cacciatore Casserole (from Betty Crocker’s One Dish Meals)
What you need:
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 3/4 cup (14 ounces) chicken broth
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes with Italian-style herbs
1 jar sliced mushrooms, drained (or just slice up a few)
8 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
1 teaspoon paprika
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 375. Spray an 11 by 7 (or other 2 quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
Gently mix rice, zucchini, broth, tomatoes and mushrooms in the baking dish. Arrange chicken over the rice. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover with aluminum foil
Bake *50* minutes (the original recipe said 30, but I wouldn’t trust that!). Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes longer, until juice of chicken is no longer pink when the centre of the thickest pieces are cut.
Take it out of the oven and serve! You might want to take the chicken off the top and stir the rice a bit before serving.