Cheesy Chicken Broccoli & Rice Casserole

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Serves 6

As with most casseroles, this one is a very satisfying and comforting meal that requires minimum effort and takes a short time to put together.

3 cups
cooked rice
(either white or brown, can be prepared a day ahead)
1 1/2 cups
broccoli florets
(blanched in salted boiling water for 3 minutes, drained and rinsed in cold water to retain vivid green colour)
1 cup
cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
1/2 cup
cheddar cheese, shredded
1-2 tsp
chilli flakes
Ingredients for Cheese Sauce
2 tbsp
2 tbsp
plain flour
2 1/2 cups
(500 ml)
1/2 cup
cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

The chicken used in this recipe can be either boiled, steamed, roasted or pan-seared. 

To prepare the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a pan, then add the flour and stir it in over low heat so that it cooks for a couple of minutes. Gradually add milk while whisking until you have a smooth sauce. Simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens slightly. Season with salt and pepper, then add the half cup of cheddar cheese and whisk it in until melted. The sauce will thicken with the addition of the cheese. Turn the heat off.

In a large bowl, add the precooked rice, chicken and broccoli. Gently mix together. Add the cheese sauce and mix it in. Pour the entire mixture into a casserole dish and scatter the remaining half cup of shredded cheddar cheese on top. If you want a bit of heat, you can sprinkle some chilli flakes on top.

Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly. 

Enjoy! :)