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Getting Back to Business with Chicken Noodle Casserole

After being busy for weeks it seems that things have finally slowed down a bit where I actually have the time and energy to do some blogging. After writing for 10 hours a day sometimes I just don’t have the energy or will to sit in front of the computer anymore and blog even though I really enjoy it. Hopefully I can have some more time to do some in the coming days and weeks. We’ll have to see what the work schedule brings along. With the craziness behind me for now, I have had some time to cook a few new things lately, including this recipe from Cook’s Country that I made last night for chicken noodle casserole. Granted, this dish combines two ingredients I personally don’t eat myself – cheese and noodles – but Michelle and Sean both love them and I had all of the right ingredients on hand to have a go at the recipe and see what I could do with it. It seemed simple enough to make so it was worth a shot.

Chicken Noodle Casserole

12 ounces (7 3/4 cups) wide egg noodles

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons butter

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine

1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine

1 onion, chopped fine

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cups half-and-half

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise and trimmed

4 ounces deli American cheese, chopped coarse

4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)

1 1/2 cups frozen peas

25 Ritz crackers, crushed coarse

 Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add the noodles and 1 tablespoon of salt and cook, stirring often, until the noodles are just al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water until they are cool, about 2 minutes. Drain the noodles again and set them aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the now empty pot over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, carrot and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and set them aside. In the now-empty pot, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the half-and-half and chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook until it is no longer pink, about 8 to 10 minutes.

 Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the pot from the heat, transfer the chicken to a plate, and shred the chicken into bite-size pieces once it is cool enough to handle. Whisk the American and cheddar cheeses into the sauce until it is smooth. Stir the shredded chicken, noodles, bell pepper mixture, peas, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 1/4 teaspoons of pepper into the cheese sauce.

 Transfer the mixture to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and top with the Ritz crackers. Bake the casserole until it is golden brown and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let the casserole cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve.

It was very simple to make and the whole dish comes together in about 45 minutes. I actually used some leftover chicken that we had on hand and sped the process up even more, just warming it in the sauce for 2 minutes instead of having to cook it all the way through. even though I personally didn’t eat any, I have to admit that it looked pretty good and Michelle and Sean both had seconds so I guess it tasted good too. This recipe makes a lot, with a suggested serving of 8 to 10 people, so if you don’t want a lot of leftovers you can cut it down to half. While they had the casserole, I had a soft shell crab sandwich and slaw, which I will share the recipe for tomorrow.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

chickennoodlecasserole

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Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Cooking, Dinner, One Pot Meals, Pasta, Poultry

 

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Got Leftovers? Make This Chicken and Rice Casserole with Lemon and Parmesan

More often than not we have one meal a week that I just call Leftovers Night. The night is either a hodgepodge of different things that have been leftover from various meals re-heated separately or, if the ingredients go well together, some type of stir fry, hash or casserole for dinner. When we had some leftover vegetables and a rotisserie chicken in the fridge the other day, it seemed to be crying out to be made into some type of casserole and I had seen this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen for a chicken and rice casserole recently and found this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Chicken and Rice Casserole with Lemon and Parmesan

2 tablespoons butter

2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin

1 onion, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press

1 cup long-grain white rice

2 cups water

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded

1/2 bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch lengths

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon leaves

25 Ritz crackers, crushed to coarse crumbs (about 1 cup) or crunchy bread crumbs

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat until the foaming subsides. Add the carrots and the onions and cook until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 6 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the rice and stir until the rice is evenly coated. Add the water, chicken stock, heavy cream, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and bring the mixture to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low, cover the skillet and cook, stirring often, until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid and is just tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Stir in the cooked chicken, the asparagus, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and the tarragon and season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish and sprinkle the Ritz cracker crumbs over the top to coat the top of the casserole. Bake the casserole until the topping is browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Allow the casserole to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

This recipe makes great use of all kinds of leftovers and comes together nicely to form a one pot dish filled with chicken, rice and vegetables. The chicken stock and heavy cream create a nice sauce that goes throughout the dish and you get a hint of the lemon and the cheese in each bite. I really liked using the Ritz crackers as topping as well and it gave some added buttery flavor and crunch to the dish. This would work well with any type of leftover chicken or turkey and you can put it all together in under 40 minutes, making it great for a weeknight and for easy clean up.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on October 7, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Leftovers, One Pot Meals, Poultry

 

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Jennifer Probst

a little bit naughty a little bit nice

Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

simple cooking recipes

a blog to share with you the best

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