Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cheddar-Bacon-Ranch Chicken & Rice Bake

(photo courtesy of Vintage Victuals)

I don't really like to use someone else's picture, but the only picture I could get of this dinner looked like dog food! And since it actually tasted pretty good, I did not want to frighten anyone away by my lack of photography skills.

This dinner was so easy to whip up and I really liked the infusion of flavor the peppers gave to the rice. However, I am not sure if it was the rice I used or what, but this took closer to 1 1/2 hours to bake before the rice was tender, so I ended up having to take the chicken out and continue to bake the rice mixture in order for the chicken to not get overcooked. Not a huge issue because you can throw it together so quickly, but just something to note in case dinner needs to be done by a certain time. I used brown rice(not instant) and instead of bacon we just sprinkled some bacon bits on top, but I am positive real bacon would have been much better!
Cheddar-Bacon-Ranch Chicken & Rice Bake

1 1/2 cups uncooked rice (white or brown)
1 10.5-ounce can of condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can of water
1 can of milk
1 1-ounce packet of ranch seasoning mix
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
4 medium-sized chicken breasts
2 cups cheddar cheese
6-8 slices of bacon, cut into 1″ pieces

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9×13 inch baking dish, combine the rice, the soup, the water, the milk, the ranch seasoning, and the diced peppers. Stir until well combined. Place the chicken breasts on top of the rice mixture. Cover the dish with tin foil and wrap tightly.

Bake for 45 minutes. In the meantime, lightly brown the bacon pieces over medium heat in a small frying pan. When you remove the chicken and rice from the oven, check the chicken to make sure it is cooked through (I like to use a meat thermometer for this). Then, sprinkle with the shredded cheese and the browned bacon pieces. Return to the oven for about 5-7 minutes so that the cheese melts and bubbles. Serve hot. Yield 4-6 servings

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