Good Ideas: Leftover Chicken (w/ Broccoli & Cauliflower Casserole)
Here is my yearly casserole contribution.
Not really sure why casseroles get a bad rap in the culinary community.
I think most of us fall into the category of "home cooks" that are looking for simple, healthy, delicious meals that can feed our families (not haute cuisine every night). Meet the casserole.
The famous mac and cheese (I love it so much, I could eat the whole pan) and a delicious lasagne are familiar comfort casseroles for the cold weather hibernation months.
Yes, I would rather be out picking my arugula and fresh asparagus from my garden, but that's not happening for a while.
This was a great way to use up the leftover roast chicken and steamed broccoli from last night.
This is not as fattening as it sounds, it only uses a little cream and a little mayo, you could also omit the panko crumbs to make it even lower in fat and gluten free.
The fresh steamed broccoli and cauliflower give it a nice crunchy texture and it is easy to make ahead.
I prepared it in an 8" x 8" Pyrex square baking dish, to serve 4.
You don't have to be exact with any of the measurements, I never measure, so I just eyeball it.
Roast Chicken, Broccoli & Cauliflower "Casserole":
1 cup of small fresh broccoli florets (about 1/2 of a small head)
1 cup of small fresh cauliflower florets (about 1/2 of a small head)
1 cup of leftover roast chicken, shredded
Japanese panko crumbs for the top
kosher salt & pepper
For the Sauce:
3 tbsp of REAL mayonnaise
1/4 cup of half & half
1 tsp curry powder (you can substitute dry mustard if you don't like curry)
a pinch of kosher salt & black pepper
1/4 cup of chicken stock
1/2 cup of grated sharp cheddar (I like white cheddar)
Brush an 8" x 8" baking dish with some olive oil.
Steam the broccoli and cauliflower florets for 2 minutes until bright and still firm.
Lay the vegetables on the bottom of the casserole.
Place the shredded cooked chicken on top of the veggies.
Whisk together the sauce ingredients, including the grated cheese & curry. Season with salt & pepper. (I really didn't measure here, but what you are going for is a nice thick, cheesy white sauce, sort of like for macaroni and cheese, so use your best cooking sense!).
Pour over the chicken and vegetables in the dish and press down with a spatula to absorb the liquid. If it seems dry, then add some more chicken stock to the dish.
Optional (but makes it even better!): Spoon some panko crumbs over the top to cover and drizzle with olive oil.
You can make this a day ahead and keep covered in the fridge until ready to bake.
Bake uncovered in a 375F oven for about 30 minutes until top is golden brown and casserole is bubbly.
Serve with rice or salad.
Stay warm and enjoy!