So I lied. That lasagna was not my last winter dish, because winter is never going to f’ing end here ever. First day of spring? What’s that? Cause it isn’t happening where I live. It was 17 degrees this morning when I woke up…17! On the first day of spring. And that’s just the actual temperature, we still have a wind chill here in Chicago…still. Well whatever, it is supposed to snow on Saturday – it just keeps getting more awesome.
So, whether this weather sticks around til May, or whether next week it is 55 and sunny, THIS is my last winter dish. I am starting to think that it I who may be the curse of winter with all this kind of food. But it is so damn good and warm and comforting. But this is it. Cheery and lighter things from here on out.
In the meantime – either make this if it is cold or save this somewhere for fall, you will want to eat it. Trust me. All five kids scarfed this down and the husband. And it is a one pan meal…a casserole that DOES NOT use cream soup. So you can feel a bit better about it than most other casserole recipes out there.
Chicken and broccoli casserole
About three cups of cut up cooked chicken
Four carrots finely diced
Three celery stalks finely diced
Half a small yellow onion finely diced
One clove of garlic minced
half cup of sherry
Four cups of cut up broccoli (you could use frozen spears I suppose) flash boiled (literally) for like two minutes and drained
The sauce – it’s really f’ing good
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup flour
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 Cups chicken broth
2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
Sleeve of Ritz crackers, crumbled OR one cup of panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup of parmesan cheese
Cook package of egg noodles until JUST underdone – like four minutes less, and drain.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13x9 casserole dish with cooking spray.
Melt butter and oil in large dutch oven or pan over medium heat. Sauté onion, celery, carrots and thyme until softened and add a little salt to season, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in sherry and bring to a boil and reduce until almost evaporated. Add the chicken, and recheck seasoning. Put chicken and vegetable mixture into casserole dish with noodles.
To prepare cheese sauce, melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper then slowly pour in chicken broth whisking continuously. Whisk until thick and just bubbling, and then remove from heat. Whisk in cheese until melted. Pour cheese sauce into chicken, vegetable and noodle mixture and mix to combine. Top with a mixture of crushed Ritz crackers or breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until mixture is bubbling and the top is golden browned.