November 12, 2010

Chicken and Rice Casserole, Arkansas Style

If your town is anything like mine today, it's time for some good ol' comfort food. I asked my good friend Jennifer Ingraham for insight into her home state's culinary legacy. 

Here is Jennifer's insight:

"Nationally, Arkansas ranks No. 1 in rice and poultry production. I know this because I learned the rice fact in fifth-grade Arkansas history and I’ve seen some of the rice farms along the Mississippi River. I know the chicken fact because I grew up in Northwest Arkansas and my high school was next to a Tyson chicken plant. So it seems only appropriate that I offer a simple, traditional chicken and rice casserole, loaded with fattening ingredients and topped with butter and Ritz crackers. Mmm, mmm, good!

"This recipe took 3rd-place honors at the 2006 Arkansas State Fair," Jennifer says.

Check out this link at Serious Eats to see the new food items that popped up at this year's Arkansas State Fair. If you like your entrees and desserts deep-fried, you'll be pleased with the deep-fried and battered hard boiled eggs and deep-fried bacon bombs followed by chocolate smooches and chocolate cream cheese bites!

Jennifer Ingraham's 
State Fair Chicken & Rice Casserole
4 chicken breasts, boiled and boned
1 10 oz can cream of chicken soup
1 10 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1 cup sour cream
3 cups chicken broth
2 packages Ritz Crackers, crushed
1 stick (1/4 pound) butter

Chop chicken. Combine chicken, soups, rice, sour cream, and broth. Place in two 2-quart dishes. Crush crackers and add dollops of butter. Sprinkle over dishes. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Thank you, Jennifer. This seems a great dish for a good weekend meal and another dish to freeze for another quick meal for a busy weeknight. What's better than a meal in the freezer?

MORE FUN: Here's a fun kids site with more Arkansas info.

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