Thursday, November 3, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Oh my!!  We love ourselves some chicken cordon bleu!  I rarely make it because I'm not too fond of cutting into the chicken and stuffing them, or flattening and rolling them!  I'm a snob that way!:)  So when I saw this recipe I knew it was one I was going to have to try it, just put the chicken in the casserole, no stuffing or rolling!!:)  Really, really delicious...whole family loved it!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Topping:
4 slices white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:
3 pounds russet potatoes (about 4-5 medium sized ones), peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 medium garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
6 tablespoons flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream or milk (I used skim)
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese (6 oz.)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and sliced thinly
9 ounces ham, chopped

For the topping process the bread and butter in a food processor until coarsely ground. (I used my blender and it worked great!)  Set aside.

For the filling, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, making sure the oven rack is in the middle.  Place the potatoes, 6 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt in a large pot.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are partially cooked, about 2 minutes (you don't want to overcook them because they will continue to cook in the oven.)  Carefully drain potatoes, or remove them with a slotted spoon, and transfer them to a bowl.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cook until the onions are softened, about 6 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.  Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and the cream or milk.  Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking often, until slightly thickened (if using milk instead of cream, you may have to cook longer for it to thicken up a bit!.  Off the heat, whisk in the Swiss cheese, Dijon, and cayenne pepper until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and set aside until ready to use.

Toss the potatoes with half of the sauce and spread into the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.  Layer the chicken on the potatoes and then spread the ham evenly over the chicken.  Make sure the chicken is in a single layer so that it cooks thoroughly.  Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the chicken and sprinkle with the bread crumb topping.  Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the casserole is bubbling, 30-35 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes before serving. 
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