Monday, January 31, 2011

Saving the Casserole

When most people hear the words 'leftovers' or 'casserole' they think gross, no thanks. (At least, my family does.)
Ok, this recipe uses leftovers and is a casserole but totally redeems the terms. I roasted a ton of bone-in skin-on chicken breast the other day (using Ina Garten's method**) and went looking for something to do with it. So it doesn't have to be with leftover turkey, as the recipe suggests, but it would be a great dish to do after Christmas or Thanksgiving when you have tons of the bird kicking around.
I made this for company one night and it fed seven of us, including Jibs and Clara, with one small serving left over.
The thing that made this meal especially good, in my opinion, was using really good bread for the topping. My favourite bread right now is actually an bun from the Caldense bakery. Their rye, seedy buns are pretty amazing. Chopped into medium sized chunks, tossed with a little parmesan cheese, melted butter, salt and pepper, it is a perfect topping.

Curried Chicken Casserole
(Adapted from Martha's Everyday Food)

1/4 C Melted Butter
1 small onion, diced small
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 C AP flour
3 Whole Milk, warmed slightly
2 Tsp curry powder
coarse salt
ground pepper
6 1/2 C broccoli florets
4 C cooked chicken or turkey, cut into 3/4 inch pieces**
3 C bread, medium dice
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/4 C parmesan cheese, grated
salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 400*.
Melt butter in a medium pot. Add onion, and garlic, cooking until soft but not brown, about 7 mins.
Whisk in flour and cook 1 min. Slowly whisk in milk until mixture is smooth. Cook until it comes to a simmer. Stir in curry and season with salt and pepper.
Add broccoli and cook 5 mins until softened. Stir in chicken.
Transfer mixture to a 9x11 baking dish.
In a small bowl, toss bread with butter, parm, a pinch of salt and a bit of pepper.
Top the meat and broccoli with bread. Bake until golden brown about 15 mins.
Serves 6-8 people.

**Ina's Roasted Chicken Breast (Bone in Skin on)

Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.

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