Kat's Kitchen- Cajun Chicken Casserole

Reported by: Katherine Rowe
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Updated: 11/05/2013 7:04 am
2 lbs raw chicken breast (or 2 cups cooked chicken)
2 Tbs. oil, separated
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium onion)
1/2 cup celery (1-2 stalks)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cup cooked rice (white or brown)
4 strips bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices
9 oz. spinach
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. flour
2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
2 cups milk
2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese
2 oz. Parmesan cheese


Pound out chicken with the palm of your hand to ensure an even thickness. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle both sides of the chicken with about 1 tablespoon of oil, and sprinkle salt and pepper on each side. Bake at 350* for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping half way through. Allow to cool. Cut into cubes, and set aside. 
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add pepper, onion, celery and garlic to skillet, and cook until vegetables are soft. 
Stir in thyme, and remove from heat. In a medium bowl, mix vegetables with cooked rice. Set aside. 
In the same skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Add spinach, and cook until wilted. If you cannot fit all of the spinach in your pan at one time, add a handful, let it wilt and add more spinach. Set aside
Make the cheese sauce: Melt butter in a small sauce pan. Whisk in flour and Cajun seasoning, and cook for one minute. 
Add 1/2 cup milk to the saucepan, whisking until all of the flour clumps are dissolved. Add the rest of the milk, and reduce heat to low. Cook until thick and bubbly, but not boiling. Stir in Monterrey Jack cheese. 
Build the casserole: In a 9x13 inch baking dish, spread the rice and vegetable mixture over the bottom, creating an even layer. Add chicken, then spinach. Pour cheese sauce over the top, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 360* for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly. 




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