Saturday, March 3, 2012

Roast the broccoli, don't steam it.

I'm kind of sad that I missed Family History Friday yesterday :-/ I have so many post ideas for it but it was just one of those crazy days at work, and then my sister wanted me to go out with her...I never go out on Fridays because they're already hectic enough, but I ended up agreeing to go and that's that.

Anyway, I'm so backed up on posting recipes here (I'm still working on pictures I took of meals that I cooked back in August of last year! oops haha) that I'm really trying to do at least one recipe a week. And this week I have a very yummy casserole recipe to share! I originally found it on Pinterest but as usual I played with it a bit :) It's rich, but you can make it using more "fresh" (ish) ingredients than most casseroles (no cream of anything soup!) which I really liked.


2 very large or 3-4 small to medium heads broccoli, chopped into florets
5 small chicken breasts or 3-4 large chicken breasts, chopped into chunks
3 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
1 stick melted butter
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

For the sauce:
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cup cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 cup *cold* water
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups milk
1.5 cups of the above cheddar cheese

- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and roast the broccoli florets for about 20 minutes. When it's done, lower the oven temp to 350.
- In a greased 9 x 13 pan, layer the roasted broccoli and the chicken, then set aside.
- Heat a saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop and combine the melted butter, cornstarch dissolved in water, chicken broth, salt and pepper and milk. Stir well until sauce has thickened (3-5 minutes).
- Turn the head down to low and add the 1.5 cups of grated cheddar. Stir until melted and pour over the chicken and broccoli in the pan.
- Top with the remaining 1.5 cups grated cheddar.
- Melt the butter and add the poppy seeds, then stir well. Crush the Ritz crackers in a large zip-lock bag with a rolling pin (don't crush them too small!) and add the crushed crackers to the melted butter. Sprinkle the crumbs over the grated cheese.
- Bake uncovered at 350 for about 30 minutes.

I was actually surprised that the poppy seeds really added to this recipe, and I'm glad that I included them because I definitely thought about not doing so. That said, the major thing I changed is that originally this recipe called for the broccoli to be steamed, but I much prefer roasted broccoli...crispier, better tasting, as a note you can steam it and I suppose that would work as well ;) I know it's less time consuming to just steam it for a few minutes but me on the roasting? haha.
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1 comment:

  1. Sounds good! And roasting is always better, that's for sure.