Payne’s Pantry: Chicken and Rice Casserole

Published 6:20 am Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Chicken and Rice Casserole

modified by Anne Payne from

recipe by late mother-in-law


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


Supplies:  cooking spray, foil, cookie sheet, 9″ x 12″ pan, large mixing bowl



Large pkg, 3 3/4 lb chicken thighs (I use boneless, skinless)

2-10.5 oz cream chicken soup

2-10.5 oz cream of celery soup

1-4 oz jar diced pimento

2-10.5 oz cans chicken a la king

1 1/2 melted sticks butter

1-1 lb, 12 oz box Minute Rice


Wow, those are a lot of rather high fat ingredients, aren’t they? They say butter makes everything better.  Yes, it does.

My mother-in-law, Loree “Larry” (Sparks) Payne, a native of Brady, Texas, in original recipe, cut-up a whole chicken or hen for the meat.  She did not use cans of chicken a la king or a jar of diced pimento.  I added those.  She also used a lot of margarine in her recipes, about 3 sticks, or even more.  I use butter now, but not so much.

Now, let’s assemble and cook.

Since you are preheating the oven, ready your pan with the cooking spray. Cover a cookie sheet with foil on which to set the pan so the juices do not spill into the oven cavity.  Melt the sticks of butter in the microwave, covered with a wet paper towel, or melt the butter in a pan on stove on low heat.

Combine the dry rice with the soups, jar of diced pimento, cans of chicken a la king, and melted butter in a large mixing bowl.  Feel free to substitute cream of mushroom soups for the cream of chicken or cream of celery soups.  Just know that the rice needs all the soups for moisture, as well as the butter.

Next, pour the rice mixture into the 9″ x 12″ pan.  Place raw chicken pieces of your choice, thighs, breasts, or legs on top of the rice mixture.  Cover with foil, set on cookie tray, and bake for about 30 minutes.  Then, take foil off and set aside.  Return casserole to oven for 90 minutes, uncovered, in order to brown meat and make part of rice crunchy.  The Payne family, hailing from Sulphur Springs, Texas, loves crunchy rice, or as the baby sister, Holly, now 58, used to call rice, “short getties.”

The family always adored this dish of “short getties,” including my husband, his three sisters, his parents, and his sweet aunties.

I hope you enjoy this.  Don’t be afraid to make this recipe your own by tweaking it a little like I

did.  Happy cooking, happy eating, and happy new year!