Chicken Noodle Casserole

Maybe it's the lack of sleep that's prevented me from any desire to cook. Or, maybe it's the weather, and that it's just too nice to want to spend an afternoon in the kitchen prepping for dinner. Whatever the case, this past week I've been slacking in the cooking department.

Monday I decided I wanted to make a dish that was going to last us for a few meals. Casserole was the first thing that popped into my mind.

After a little searching I found a casserole that sounded like a winner. Who doesn't love chicken noodle soup? Now, put that into casserole form - YUM-O!

Before I go into the details of this dish I have to be totally upfront about it... It was delicious, yes. But, it ended up taking a little more time, and more pans and skillets than I was hoping/expecting. It did yield a TON of food (we're still working on the leftovers), and it is delish. Just wanted to give a heads up.

Chicken Noodle Casserole
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove minced (of course I used two cloves :)
1 Tbsp olive oil, or canola oil
14.5 oz. chicken broth
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
3 celery ribs chopped (I used four)
1 green pepper chopped (the recipe didn't call for this, but it tasted great)
1/2 tsp dried Savory
3 Tbsp butter, or stick margarine
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups 2% milk (I used skim, worked just fine)
1 1/4 cups reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
8 oz. wide egg noodles

Preheat oven to 350.
Cook noodles according to package. Drain them and set aside.
Cut thawed chicken breast into approximately 1-inch cubes.
In your largest non-stick skillet (you're going to need a BIG skillet), saute garlic and onion in oil until tender.
Add chicken to garlic and onions; cook and stir until chicken is no longer pink.
Add broth, carrots, celery, green pepper (optional), and Savory to the chicken mixture. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender, approximately 10-15 minutes.

While the chicken and broth mix is simmering...
In a saucepan melt butter.
Stir flour, salt and pepper into melted butter; continue to stir until a smooth mixture emerges.
Gradually add milk to flour/butter mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes, or until thickened.
Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted.
Pour cheese mixture over chicken and broth mixture, and combine.
Add noodles to the chicken mixture; mix well.

Coat 3-qt baking dish with nonstick spray, if needed. Transfer contents from skillet to the 3-qt baking dish.
Bake, uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until bubbly.
The end result is one great comfort-food dish that will leave you with PLENTY of leftovers!

Source: allrecipes.com

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