Sunday, December 16, 2012

Creamy chicken and broccoli casserole ... really, really delicious!!

I have been wanting to make a chicken casserole of some sort for the longest time and finally found a recipe that appealed to me.

Of course, after finding the recipe I had to convince The Boy that it was something he'd eat because every time I mentioned the words "chicken casserole" he'd make a face. The reason? Because I've been feeding him a lot of chicken since I'm not eating any red meat at the moment. He could be just a tad chickened out.

Well, last night, I finally decided that I'd cook this chicken casserole recipe that I had found and I'm very glad that I did.

My worry in cooking a creamy chicken casserole was to make sure that it was tasty. It's so easy to make a chicken casserole, follow the instructions and then have it turn out quite bland, because let's face it, the ingredients do lend themselves to something that could turn out rather bland.

Here's the RECIPE for the casserole and I'll go on to talk about that I did differently to make sure that it was tasty as well.

  • 3 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
  • 2 cans of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup of mayo
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup colby & monterrey jack cheese
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli,thawed and chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Spaghetti noodles - cooked

  • Cook chicken & shred.  Meanwhile, chop the broccoli.
  • Now, mix all ingredients together.
  • Spray casserole dish with a thin layer of oil.
  • Put cooked spaghetti noodles on the bottom of the casserole dish.
  • Transfer rest of the mixture to the casserole dish.
  • Put into oven at 180dC and cook for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

First off, I used chicken thigh fillets - 6 of them, because I do not like chicken breast. It's horrible, stringy meat with very little flavor.

I did not have all those various types of shredded cheese because this is an American recipe and we don't that many types of shredded cheese here. I just used our shredded pizza cheese mix.

I also used fresh broccoli rather than frozen broccoli because I'm not much into frozen vegetables other than peas.

I also used macaroni elbow pasta rather than spaghetti noodles because that was what The Boy wanted.

The other things that I did differently - and these was quite different were:

  • On top of the chicken pieces, I added several slices of bacon, cut slightly chunky and cooked together with the chicken, so that it was cooked and the bacon flavor came through but not crispy.
  • While I was cooking the chicken, I also added several generous pinches of salt and a lot of pepper. On top of that, I added 1 teaspoon of chili paste to give it just a hint of heat. There was not enough to make it hot and spicy, just enough to get a hint, that's all.
  • I used 1 cup of a leftover blue cheese dressing that I had made up when I was cooking (experimenting with) buffalo wings.
  • I used 1/2 a cup of mayonnaise instead of 1 cup of mayonnaise since I already had plenty of mayonnaise in the blue cheese dressing.
  • I didn't mix the cheese into the chicken and broccoli mixture, rather I layered the cheese on top of the pasta and then again, on top of the chicken mixture.

This turned out to be absolutely delicious. The hint of chili really helped give some depth to the flavor of the casserole. The Boy absolutely loved it and when he asked me what I did, I told him, to which he responded "so you didn't really follow much of the recipe, did you?" ... I did ... sort of!

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