What’s my favorite food? Chicken Harris (a.k.a. Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake) — a creamy cheesy chicken sauce over rice and topped with crescent rolls.
For the longest time, when someone would ask me what my favorite food was, I would respond, “Chicken Harris!” That was followed by a confused look and the follow-up question, “What’s Chicken Harris?”
It was until years later, I learned Chicken Harris is a made up name! When I asked my dad where the name came from, he gave me the real story:
My uncle’ neighbors, the Harris’, made this dish for my uncle and his family. When my uncle asked his neighbors what this was called, they replied, “Why, it’s Chicken Harris, of course!” Thus, began my confusing history of describing my favorite food.
So, for the sake of this blog post, I’ll be referring to this dish as “Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake” instead of “Chicken Harris”.
Although, if you are the Harris family that created this dish, please, send me a message! You created my brother’s and my favorite food! We’d love to meet it’s namesake!
Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake Ingredients
The real star of this recipe is the creamy cheese sauce. Yummy bites of seasoned chicken are scattered throughout the sauce. Then, buttery crescent rolls are cooked directly on top of the sauce. Finally, the cheesy chicken sauce is poured over the top of flavorful white rice.
Creamy Cheese Sauce
To make the simple, creamy, cheese sauce, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Canned Cream of Chicken Soup
- Sour cream
- Salt and Pepper
- Freshly grated cheddar cheese (or Colby jack cheese)
The great thing about this sauce is it does not need to be precooked before it is baked in the oven. Add all of the ingredients directly into the baking dish and stir! That’s it!
Now, the recipe calls for three cups of grated cheddar cheese or Colby Jack cheese. For really cheesy flavor, use four cups of cheese instead of three! I’ll leave that choice up to you. 😉
You’ve heard me say it before, and I’ll say it again. Rather than buying prepackaged cheese, please grate your own! If you grate your own, the flavor will be far superior, and it will melt much better!
TIP: As a general rule, 3 to 4 ounces of block cheese yields 1 cup grated cheese. So, for this recipe, you’ll need about 12 oz of block cheese, ungrated.
One of the great things about this recipe is it can feed a few people or a lot of people.
To feed a smaller number of people, you will only need one, 8 count package of canned crescent rolls. Or to stretch the recipe to feed a larger number of people (or if you really like the crescent rolls like our family does), use two, 8 count packages of canned crescent rolls.
For this recipe, I’ve had success using reduced fat, buttery, grands, and regular canned crescent rolls. They all work well, so use whatever you like!
Seasoned Chicken Breast
The protein used in this recipe is boneless, skinless, chicken breasts. To flavor the chicken, it is sautéed in cooking oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic.
TIP: To make your chicken taste more like chicken, also season the chicken breasts with chicken bouillon as it cooks.
To keep the dish more kid-friendly, feel free to omit the garlic. The original recipe does not use garlic, but we like to add it in our family to take the flavor up a notch!
Flavorful White Rice
For the ultimate comfort dish, add the cheese sauce, chicken, and crescent rolls on top of cooked, long-grain, white rice.
I have never used brown rice in this dish, and I’m not sure I would ever try it. It wouldn’t be “Chicken Harris” without using white rice.
The key to flavorful rice is to season your cooking water well with salt and chicken bouillon. Then, as the rice cooks, it absorbs the salt and chicken broth flavors. Never settle for bland rice!
Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake Preparation
Whenever I make a recipe that includes rice, I always start the rice first. It always seems to take the longest, and I like to give it a head start.
As the water is coming to a boil for the rice, saute your chicken. Additionally, you can start preparing the cheese sauce as the chicken cooks. Once the chicken is cooked through, add it to the cheese sauce. Then, top the cheese sauce with the crescent rolls and bake.
First, using a cutting board and a chef’s knife, chop chicken breasts into 1/2″ pieces. Try to cut the chicken about the same size so they all cook at the same rate.
Next, heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, and add the chicken and seasonings. Saute the chicken for about 6-8 minutes until the chicken is browned and no longer pink.
Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake Sauce Preparation
While the chicken is cooking, add the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, milk, and salt and pepper to a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Stir the mixture until combined. After that, add the grated cheese to the baking dish and mix again until cheese is distributed throughout the sauce. Then, add the cooked chicken to the sauce and stir.
Next, remove the crescent rolls from the packaging, and roll into crescent roll shape. Evenly distribute rolls on top of the sauce mixture.
Then, bake for 15 minutes until the tops of the crescent rolls are golden brown. Remove pan from the oven. Using a fork, flip the crescent rolls. Continue baking the mixture for an additional 20-25 minutes until tops of the crescent rolls are browned and edges of sauce is bubbly.
When I make rice, I rarely measure the amount of water I use to cook it. You just want to make sure you have an inch or two of water above the amount of rice used.
To boiling water, add 1 tsp of salt per 1 cup of rice used. Many times, I will also add chicken bouillon or chicken base to the rice as it’s cooking which provides additional salt and flavor.
While cooking your rice, stir the rice occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of your pot. It’s also helpful to stir your rice immediately after adding it to the cooking pot to coat all the grains in water.
Cook the rice for 15 to 18 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, taste test a grain of rice, and it should be slightly chewy. It should not be crunchy, and it should not be overcooked and mushy. Continue tasting the rice until it’s the perfect texture.
Once your rice is done, drain your rice in a colander. Do not rinse your rice! That will remove the flavor we added to the rice!
Serving Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake
To serve the Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake, scoop a portion of rice onto a serving plate. Top the rice with the cheesy sauce and 1-2 crescent rolls. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!!!
Looking for more Cheesy Goodness?
If you are a cheese lover like me, you will love my recipe for Three Cheese Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese!
Also be sure to check out my recipe for Dad’s Beef Spanish Rice!
Or you can find all of my main dish recipes, here!
For a sweet way to use crescent rolls, checkout my recipes for Crescent Roll Apple Dumplings and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dumplings.
Don’t forget to save the recipe for later, and please give me a follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!
Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake (Chicken Harris)
Chicken Harris Ingredients
- 1 lb Chicken Breasts (about 2 breasts, Diced into 1/2" pieces)
- 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
- 1 tsp Garlic (optional)
- 2 10.5 oz Cream of Chicken, Canned
- 1 1/2 cups Sour Cream
- 3 cups Cheddar or Colby Jack Cheese Grated (about 9-12 oz ungrated)
- 1 1/2 cups Milk
- 1 1/2 tsp Salt Plus more to taste
- 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper Plus more to taste
- 8 or 16 count Crescent Rolls
- 1 1/2 cups Rice Uncooked
- 1 cube Chicken Bouillon
- 1 tsp Salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once oil is shimmering, add chicken, garlic (if using), and salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp each).
- Cook chicken until browned and no longer pink (about 6-8 minutes).
- To a 9" x 13" baking dish, add chicken, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, milk, and additional salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp). Stir until mixture is fully combined.
- Add grated cheese and mix until cheese is distributed throughout the sauce.
- Open crescent rolls, and roll into crescent roll shape. Evenly distribute rolls on top of the sauce mixture.
- Bake for 15 minutes until the tops of the crescent rolls are golden brown. Remove pan from the oven. Using a fork, flip the crescent rolls. Then, continue to bake the mixture for an additional 20-25 minutes until tops of the crescent rolls are browned and edges of sauce is bubbling.
- While the sauce is cooking, add 4 cups water, 1 tsp of salt, and chicken bouillon to a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Add rice to pot and stir to prevent rice from sticking to bottom of pot.
- Cook rice for 15-18 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until rice is fully cooked and just barely has a slight bite to it.
- Drain rice in a colander.
- Top rice with sauce and crescent rolls, and enjoy!