Monday, July 25, 2011

Chicken Casserole


Steve hates broccoli...I love it! It's really one of the few things we don't agree on and I usually don't get to cook with it often because he truly hates it so much.  I have cooked it alone, with other things, with tons of cheese melted on top, added to dishes and although he has bravely tried them all he just doesn't like it.  It's a texture thing-I understand completely (I'm a texture girl myself) but my love for broccoli made me determined that I could get him to like it....FAIL!

Thursday night I came home from work to make this chicken casserole and although I really really really wanted to add broccoli to the dish I knew Steve wouldn't like it and probably wouldn't eat it. Since he's been working 60 + hours, outside in this unbearable heat every week he really needs some good tastin', nutritious food.  But then I thought, "If I leave the florets whole and don't chopped them down he can just eat around them." With a huge grin, I defrosted the broccoli in the microwave and I was a happy girl. Guess what? Steve didn't even complain about the broccoli, he ate some of it and loved this dish! SCORE! This is my favorite chicken casserole yet and trust me, I've had a lot of chicken casseroles.  Just about any variation you can dream up, I'm sure I've tried it. This one is the best-well it's the best for me anyway. :)
 
Like most things I make, you can really change this up to suit your taste. If you don't like broccoli, leave it out...add what you like (carrots, celery, corn, etc). If you don't like cheddar cheese (does anyone really not like cheddar cheese?) then change that too. Use what you like and serve it up!

Chicken Casserole
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 or 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
1 bag frozen broccoli florets (thawed)
5 or 6 chicken breast (cooked and shredded)*
2 cups white rice, steamed
salt & pepper to taste

Sauce:
2 or 3 tbsp butter
1/8 cup flour
salt & pepper
1 can chicken broth (10 3/4 oz)
2-3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

*I put my chicken in a slow cooker (crock-pot) with a can of chicken broth and cook on low all day (while I'm at work)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In a saute pan, heat olive oil in medium heat and saute onions & broccoli about 5-7 minutes, until soft.  Add in minced (or gated) garlic and cook for 1 more minute. 

Stir in chicken, rice, salt and pepper. I usually cook my rice in a large saucepan and add the onions and broccoli to it so I have more room to mix ingredients together.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium, medium-high heat.  Whisk in flour and add salt and pepper.

Pour in chicken broth, whisking continuously.  Whisk until mixture is almost to a boil then add 1 to 1 1/2 cups cheese.  Stir until cheese is melted then pour over rice/chicken mixture.

Place in a  baking dish and top with additional cheese.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted.

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