Severe Storm Preparedness

Pleasing a teenager is like predicting the weather.  Temperatures and moods can swing wildly from warm and cheerful to cold and frosty at any given time and with no warning.  Even with the best means of prediction, a raging hormonal storm can take you by surprise when you least expect it. 

I've learned that I can somewhat protect myself from impending Teenage Boy Doom by wielding food when I show up to Boy Toy's house.  So far I've managed to thwart a mood swing with chocolate chip cookies, Country Club Chicken, and this Chicken Cordon Bleu casserole. 

This casserole can be made ahead, which I often do and send home with Boy Toy to have for dinner after those long days spent on the baseball field.  After serving it the first time and having the remaining 2/3rds of the pan fall victim to whomever raids the refrigerator in the middle of the night (hmmm...I wonder?) and a request to prepare it again, I knew I had another storm preparedness item on my hands. 

You can take the quicker and easier route to making this dish by using two cans of cream of chicken (or mushroom or celery) soup instead of making the sauce from scratch but in my effort to steer clear of so many processed foods, I've found that it doesn't take very long to whip up a basic cream sauce and I think spending the few extra minutes is worth it.  I also used brown rice for the base and whole wheat bread crumbs for the topping as a way of sneaking in a few health(ier) ingredients. 

Here's how to prepare yourself for Teenage Boy Doom in six easy steps:

Layer about 4 cups of cooked rice in the bottom of a pan
 
Add a layer of cooked, diced chicken

Layer the chicken with Swiss Cheese


Next comes a layer of chopped deli ham

Top it all off with homemade cream sauce (or a couple of cans of cream soup)

The finishing touch of bread crumbs before baking



Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
adapted from www.tastykitchen.com

Printable Recipe

FOR THE CASSEROLE:
4 cups cooked rice
5-6 cups cooked, diced chicken (rotisserie chicken works great)
1/2 pound deli-style ham, chopped
1/4 pound sliced Swiss cheese
FOR THE SAUCE:
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
3-1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
FOR THE TOPPING:
6 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs
3/4 teaspoons seasoned salt
1-1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

Grease a 9x13 baking pan.  Spread cooked rice in the bottom of the dish. Top rice with cooked chicken.  Scatter the ham over top of the chicken.  Lay cheese slices on top of the ham. 

For the sauce:
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Stir in flour and cook for about 1 minute, but do not brown.  Slowly add milk and whisk constantly until smooth.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens.  Stir in lemon juice, mustard, salt, paprika and pepper.  Bring sauce just back to a low boil and remove from heat.  Pour sauce evenly over casserole, making sure you cover the edges.

For the topping:

Melt butter in the microwave in a microwaveable bowl.  Stir in bread crumbs, seasoned salt and parsley.  Sprinkle over top of casserole.

Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Casserole will be bubbly and topping should be golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool about about 5 minutes.







0 comments:

 

Wish Upon A Chef Template by Ipietoon Cute Blog Design