Monday, November 4, 2013

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Hubby and I love, love, love my old Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe. I haven't made it in a while. So I was so excited to find this make-ahead casserole version on Pinterest from Tasty Kitchen to try out. I love making this in 2 smaller casserole dish - one to eat right away, and the other to freeze for later. Make-ahead-meals are my life savers nowadays, being so busy with my 2 kids. So this recipe has made several rounds in our household. And hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed this version. Probably more so than my original recipe.

1 rotisserie chicken (or 4 boiled chicken breasts), shredded
1/2 lb. deli sliced ham, rough chopped
1/4 lb. sliced Swiss cheese

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
4 Tbsp. flour
3 1/4 cups milk
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. mustard
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. white pepper (you can also use black pepper)

6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley (or 2-3 tsp. fresh chopped parsley)

1) Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Butter a 9x13 baking dish (or 2-8x8 baking dishes if you want to freeze half of the recipe). Set aside.

2) Even spread shredded chicken on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with the chopped ham. Layer the sliced cheese on top of ham. Set aside.

3) In the meantime, make the sauce. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour to make a roux. Cook for about a minute. Do not allow it to brown. Slowly whisk in milk. Continue to cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until sauce thickens.

4) Stir in lemon juice, mustard, salt, paprika, and pepper. Bring the sauce back up to a low boil and remove from heat. Pour sauce over the casserole, covering all the way to the edges.

5) In a medium bowl, melt butter in a microwave. Stir in breadcrumbs, salt and parsley. Sprinkle on top of the casserole.

6) Bake for 45 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Note: To serve after freezing, allow the frozen casserole to thaw completely in the refrigerator overnight prior to baking.

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