Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chicken Casseroles

This dish turned out really well. The original recipe is for individual casseroles, but since I didn't really have containers to make individual ones, I just put it all in an 8x8 casserole dish. It was really tasty and quite hearty. I will probably make this one again but in the winter when one needs a warming meal.

Chicken Casseroles
Serves 3
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 bunch Scallions (white And Light Green Parts), Chopped
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 can Low-sodium Cream Of Mushroom Or Cream Of Chicken Soup (10 3/4 Oz)
½ cups Milk
1 teaspoon Chicken Bouillon Granules Or Better Than Bouillon (or 1 Chicken Bouillon Cube)
½ teaspoons Paprika
½ teaspoons Black Pepper
4 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, softened
1-¾ cup Sharp Cheddar Or Your Favorite Cheese, Divided Use
1 cup Cooked Cubed Or Hash Brown Potatoes (I Use Simple Potatoes Brand In The Refrigerated Section Of My Supermarket)
2 cups Cooked Chicken Cut Into Bite-size Pieces (I Used Leftovers From A Roasted Chicken)
25 Butter Crackers (such As Ritz Or Townhouse), Roughly Broken Into Small Pieces
2 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
1 cup French Fried Onions (optional)
Garnish With Chopped Scallions And Finely Diced Red Bell Pepper

Preheat oven to 350F.
Heat a skillet over medium heat with the butter. After the butter has melted, add the scallions and cook about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add the soup, milk, bouillon, paprika, and black pepper and stir to combine. Heat until the mixture is hot then add the cream cheese and 1 cup of cheddar cheese (reserve the remaining cheddar cheese for the top). Stir until the cheeses melt. Fold in the potatoes and chicken. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
Spoon the chicken mixture evenly into 3 individual gratin dishes (or an 8×8″ baking dish) that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese on top of the chicken mixture in each dish.
In a medium bowl, break the crackers into small pieces (about 1/2″). Do not pulverize into crumbs. Add two tablespoons of melted butter and stir to combine. Top each gratin dish with 1/3 of the crackers. Place the gratin dishes on a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes or until the top is nicely browned and the casseroles are bubbling around the edges. If using the French fried onions, add to the top during the last 4 minutes of cooking. Garnish with chopped scallion tops and finely diced red bell pepper.

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