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.
FRENCH CHICKEN BROCCOLI SUPREME
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, etc...so 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 again...trust me on the roasting? haha.