Lasagna. That is what was requested for dinner. The fact that I am not traveling anymore and spending more time at home, made lasagna not seem like that much of an effort. So with a nod and a tip of the hat, I agreed, lasagna was to be had by all. And it was going to be delicious. Then I started working.
A grueling day of dueling email accounts, advertising mishaps, and dealing with people who have no business being in the business of managing partners left me little time to cook. Sigh. So a sprint to the store had me thinking quickly, what is super easy and can simmer why I wrap things up? Jambalaya came to mind as it is about the simplest of dishes to feed a crowd and to make. Wanting to not totally abandon the idea of Italian lasagna, I made the decision to make an Italian Jambalaya. A what? My thoughts exactly. Using a recipe for Luigi's Chicken (which I LOVE) I made it a rice dish. Easy. Subbed carrot for bell pepper, added red pepper flakes, subbed tomato sauce for tomatoes and added basil to go with my feta. It was either going to be genius, or gross, but either way, it was going to be dinner. Looks like I had a little Italian luck on my side as this dinner turned out more than good, it was delicious. The cold leftovers as well. Now where is the Italian stallion to congratulate me?
Italian Chicken and Rice Casserole
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, or to taste
2/3 cups uncooked, long grain - white rice, rinced well
2 cups chicken broth
1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce, low sodium
16 oz cooked chicken breast, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon champagne vinegar (sub red wine if desired)
8 oz crumbled feta
1/4 cup torn fresh basil
Coat a large skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat until hot. Add onion, carrot, and celery. Saute until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for two minutes.
Add the next 6 ingredients (through the black pepper) and stir until well combine. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in remaining ingredients. Server warm.
Makes 6 to 8 servings