This is the perfect freezer meal. I've made this many times. It freezes well and tastes really good. It's not low fat, but could be modified to be lower fat by using skim milk and reduce fat mayo. It's not dairy free, but again could be modified with dairy free ingredients. But it is naturally gluten free which makes it wonderful!
This is also a great casserole to have on hand in case you need to take someone else a meal. Each casserole will feed about 6 people.
I baked two chickens the night before making these casseroles. We ate some of the chicken that night and after the chickens had cooled, I picked all the meat off the bones, chopped it and put it in the fridge overnight so the next morning I was ready to make the casseroles.
I got this recipe from one of my freezer cooking cookbooks, but have modified it. It called for either a white sauce or canned soup. Of course their white sauce recipe called for flour, so I had to modify that as well. It will make two casseroles.
6 cups cooked brown rice
12 cups cooked diced chicken (I did not measure my chicken. I had meat from two chickens minus what we had eaten the night before)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup Greek style yogurt
6 cups white sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 -14 oz. bags of broccoli (thawed)
2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
First, make the white sauce. I used:
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons of butter
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 cup of sweet rice flour
8 cups of milk
Melt the butter, add garlic and then the flour. Let it bubble for a couple minutes. This will seem thick. Slowly start adding the milk about a cup at a time. This will seem really thick, but keep adding and stirring with a wisk. Once you have added all your milk, then add:
4 or 5 teaspoons of Gluten Free Pantry chicken broth mix
1/2 Tablespoon of dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Set this aside and let it cool a bit. You will have more than 6 cups here. Measure out 6 cups of white sauce in a bowl and mix in the yogurt, mayo and lemon juice. You can freeze any leftover white sauce to use later in another recipe (this is great on chicken enchiladas).
Place 3 cups of the rice in each casserole dish. I use the plastic Glad brand. They fit well in the freezer and you can reheat in the oven or microwave oven. Then layer each pan with a bag of broccoli. I didn't quite have two full bags of broccoli. But it was close enough.
Then add 1/4 of the sauce in each pan.
Add 1/2 the meat in each pan.
Top each pan off by splitting the remaining sauce and sprinkle a cup of cheese on each one. I like white cheddar and used Cabot extra sharp white cheddar. It has a very sharp, creamy texture and and unbelievable flavor.
I cover each casserole with foil before adding the lid for extra protection.
Cool completely and then freeze. To reheat, you can thaw this casserole overnight in your refridgerator. Bake at 350 degrees until hot a bubbling.
I have baked this casserole straight out of the freezer. You just have to bake it longer since it would be from a frozen state. This will take more like an hour to an hour and a half.