Saturday, July 18, 2009
Leftover Maven: Puerto Rican-spiced Chicken and Rice Casserole
Since my sister's husband is a pastor and they founded their own church, my sister and her family are surrounded by a wonderful and caring group of people. The church members have really helped my sister during her recovery, bringing food for dinner every day.
Josie, a warm and friendly woman who is in charge of hospitality at the church, dropped off a vat of Puerto Rican rice and pigeon peas, and Puerto Rican chicken fricassee.
I took some of the leftover chicken and rice, and along with leftover chicken broth, corn, salsa, scallions, and grated cheese in the fridge, made a chicken and rice casserole. The casserole was bound together by a hybrid bechamel-veloute sauce, which was made from milk and chicken broth and thickened with a roux.
It was terrific, creamy from the sauce, a little crunchy from the broiled cheese topping, and a little spicy from the well-seasoned rice and chicken.
This recipe from about.com was my inspiration. The technique (leftover meat, rice, and veggies, brought together with a sauce, baked) can be used with any leftover meat and rice, and can take on different flavors, from Mexican, Puerto Rican, to Hungarian paprikash, to even Indian curry. You get the idea.