Saturday, July 23, 2011

What's Cooking: Cheesy Chicken Whatchyamacallit

I found this recipe in a Today's Parent when I was pregnant with Lynden and I still enjoy it.  The recipe calls for 2 smaller casseroles but I always make it as 1 large casserole (if you wanted to make 2 you can freeze the second and have dinner done for another night).

Cheesy Chicken Whatchyamacallit:

500q broad egg noodles (this is 1.5 packages - if you decide to make 2 full packages add a bit more of everything else)
3 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (I've sued canned when I've been out)
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, cubed
2 1/2 cup milk
125g cream cheese, cubed (buy the block of cream cheese, much easier to cube)
salt & pepper
1 cup shredded cheese
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
4 cup spinach
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup bread crumbs

1. Grease 9x13 baking dish (if making 2, grease 2 9x9 baking dishes)
2. Cook noodles according to the package (once they're done, drain them and return to pot to keep warm.  If they start to dry out add a bit of water and stir)
3. In dutch oven (oh how I love mine), heat oil over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.  Add chicken and cook til no longer pink on the outside (about 5 min).  Remove and set aside.
4. In the same pot, melt butter, add flour (making a rue) and gradually stir in milk until thick (this never happens for me until I add the cream cheese).  Bring to a boil while stirring constantly.  Add cream cheese and stir until well blended.  Add spinach and heat until all the spinach is wilted.  Remove from heat, add thyme, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
5. Add chicken and mushrooms to the sauce, stir and combine with noodles.  Add shredded cheese and pour into baking dish.  top with breadcrumbs and remaining Parmesan cheese. 
6.  Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes

To Freeze: cool to room temperature and wrap tightly in 2 layers of foil.  To serve: defrost in the fridge and cook as directed above (I put into a cold oven and add 5-10 minutes)

You can add pretty much anything to this.  I recommend serving with some french, garlic or sourdough bread.

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