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Chicken and Rice BakeWhen I graduated from college and moved away, I didn’t just go across town or a few hours away, I moved from Virginia all the way to Germany.

It was an amazing adventure, but I was pretty homesick, especially at first. One of the things my mom gave me before I left was a recipe box filled with index cards on which she’d painstakingly copied some of my favorite recipes, so I could recreate them on my own. I was a pretty spoiled kid; I’d never had to cook because my mom always did it. The cooking learning-curve was pretty steep, and there were no cooking shows on Armed Forces Network in the early ‘90s.

One of the first recipes I tried was a chicken dish featuring leg quarters, rice, cream of something soup and broccoli. The rice didn’t cook, and it was hard and crunchy. I bought chicken thighs instead of legs (the thigh is part of the leg, right?), and it was pretty much a total disaster.

Years later, I pretty much know what I did wrong, but there are also products like instant rice available to help out.

I also figured out chicken leg quarters, which are a delightful cut featuring tender, juicy parts of the bird. They’re also on sale this week at Brookshire’s, so I figured it would be a good time to reprise this old favorite.

Chicken and Rice Bake

Ingredients:
4 chicken leg quarters
1 (4.5 oz) pkg instant long-grain and wild rice
2 cups water
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (8 oz) ctn sour cream
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbs garlic, minced
1 cup broccoli florets
salt and black pepper, to taste
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F.

Spray a large 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken leg quarters in pan, covering with foil. Bake for 45 minutes.

Combine rice and seasoning packages, salt and pepper, water, soup, sour cream, garlic and broccoli; stir to thoroughly combine.

Remove chicken from oven, and remove chicken to platter. Drain oil and juices from baking pan. Spread the rice mixture in the bottom of the pan; top with cheese then chicken. Bake uncovered for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 801, Calories from Fat: 445, Fat: 50 g (21 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 230 mg, Sodium: 1766 mg, Carbohydrates: 37 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 54 g.

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