Today is Friday. On Fridays, sometimes we eat at home, and sometimes we don’t. I think we are eating at home this evening, but I know everyone could change their minds at the last minute. Just before they start coming home from work, often on Fridays, I get a phone call saying, “Meet us at the mall. We have decided to go to the movies and out to eat this evening.” If I have already made dinner, then I have to put the dinner in the fridge and feed it to them next time. They haven’t done that yet today, but I know they could because it is Friday. I have a great solution to it. I have made a casserole up ahead of time. If they come home, all I have to do is turn the oven on. If they decide we are all going to the mall, I can put it in the fridge, and it will heats up just as nice tomorrow. Here is how I made my casserole:
I began by washing two cups of rice, then I added four cups of water to the rice and put it on the stove to cook. I let it cook on low heat with the lid on until all the water bubbles coming up through the rice are almost gone.
While the rice was cooking, I took the chicken and put it in a baking pan. I dotted it with butter and salted it. I poured a little water in the bottom of the pan so that it wouldn’t stick to the pan. I covered t with tin foil, and I put it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.
While the rice and chicken were cooking, I took out the broccoli, Usually, we buy fresh broccoli because that is all we can find, and I like to serve uncooked vegetables because I feel like they have more vitamins, However, lately, we have been seeing frozen broccoli in E-Mart, so we bought some. Frozen vegetables have more vitamins than canned vegetables. I put some of the frozen broccoli in a glass dish and drizzled some water in the bottom of the dish. I am going to steam them, not boil them because it is healthier. The more you boil vegetables, the more vitamins leave them. I covered the broccoli with plastic wrap and put it in the microwave for 5 minutes.
I took a break while it was all cooking and went to write a blog about how to make a Japanese origami paper fish. When the broccoli was done, I initially just left it there. I watched the rice and turned it off when the water was gone and just barely bubbling up a little through the rice I waited on the chicken.. I had a timer on the oven so the chicken would go off when it was finished. The timer on the chicken went off.
Next, it was time for me to make the sauce. I put about four tablespoons of butter in a large skillet and melted it. While I was melting it, I added some flour. I am one of those ladies who actually just dumps, so you are going to have to look at my pictures and then you can tell how much flour I added. I stirred the flour into the melting butter and let it become a slight paste. I cooked it until it was bubbly..
After melting the butter and adding the flour to make a hot, bubbly paste, I added two cups of milk to the butter and flour on the stove. I stirred it in with a wire whip to make sure I wouldn’t have lumps. I let it cook a few minutes. I let it come to a boil, and then I turned it down and continued cooking it and occasionally stirring it. It began to get thick. At that point, I put a little more than a cup of water in my liquid measuring cup and added some chicken bullion to it. I added the water with the chicken bullion in it to my white sauce to make it chicken sauce. I just kept cooking it and cooking it and stirring it until it became a nice sauce of the right thickness. I added salt to taste. I turned the sauce off.
After making the sauce, I took the tin foil off the chicken. I moved the chicken around because I didn’t want it stuck to the bottom of the pan. I covered the chicken and the pan completely with the cooked rice. I took my cooked broccoli and stuck it around into the rice. Lastly, I poured my chicken sauce completely over the top of the chicken, broccoli, and rice. I kind of mixed it around a little and made wells here and there to make sure the sauce went through it.
Lastly, I put the tin foil back on my casserole. I put it back in the oven. I didn’t turn the oven on yet. When everyone begins arriving home, I can turn the oven on and have dinner in just a few minutes. If I get a phone call saying, “”Let’s meet at the mall,” no problem! I will just stick my casserole in the fridge to eat tomorrow. I cleaned the kitchen up, and then I can rest until they get home or call me with alternate plans.