Archive for the ‘chicken casserole’ Category

I used Thomas Keller’s recipe for roasting a chicken Monday night. It’s a high-heat-no-basting-leave-it- alone-kind of recipe that appealed to me. I found it at Epicurious. It was highly rated by those who read and tried the recipe so I decided it was worth giving it a go. It’s not much different than any other high heat roasting instructions but I found some of the comments in the ratings section interesting.

Several people warned that the recipe would set off all of the smoke alarms in the house.  I followed the suggestions of more than a few reviewers that a layer of sliced potatoes under the chicken would soak up the drippings and prevent smoke. That did the trick. I included a few slices of onions with the potatoes and had a bonus of crispy, chicken flavored potatoes and onions. I also had a layer of nonstick foil under the potatoes to make cleanup easier. 

Here’s the basic recipe:

Wash and dry the chicken, inside and out.  (Let’s hear it for paper towels!) Season the inside of the bird with salt and pepper. Truss the chicken to keep a nice shape that cooks more evenly without overcooking the wings and legs. Sprinkle the outside of the chicken with lots of salt. I found that the dried skin repelled the larger Kosher salt crystals, so I used table salt which stuck a little better. If you lightly rubbed the skin with oil or butter the salt would adhere. Then sprinkle with pepper to taste.

I placed my chicken on a rack over the aforementioned foil, potatoes and onions. Next, the chicken went into a 450 degree F. oven until done. Keller suggests 50-60 minutes, with a 15 minute resting period once removed from the oven. My chicken was slightly larger than the 2-3 lb bird he recommends in the recipe. It took significantly longer for mine to be done, about another 15 minutes in the oven. After resting, it was nice and juicy.

While the chicken was cooking and resting, I made mashed potatoes. When I took the chicken out of the oven, I scraped off the layer of onion and potato slices from the foil on the bottom of the roasting pan, gave them a quick chop or two and mixed them into my mashed potatoes. That was a delicious addition, let me tell you, and the caramelized onions and crispy chunks of potatoes added some textural interest as well. Let’s hear it for textural interest!

We had about 2 cups of chicken leftover after we picked the meat off the carcass. Last night I used it in a quick chicken divan casserole. I have a different chicken divan recipe for you to consider  here .

The one I used last night was a little simpler. I steamed some broccoli florets and made a quick mornay sauce with a little gruyere, white wine and nutmeg for flavor. I layered the broccoli, half of the sauce, the chicken and the rest of the sauce. Then a topped it with about 1/4 c. grated parmesan. It baked in the oven for about 25 minutes at 350, just until the top was starting to get golden brown. The recipe for that is at the bottom of this post.

I had planned to make chicken salad with the remains, but, having a cold, I didn’t want to handle all the fresh ingredients and risk sneezing or coughing all over food that wasn’t going to be cooked later. For that reason, I let my husband unload the dishwasher for me and set the table. That’s about the only benefit of having a cold. 


1 1/2 c. cooked broccoli florets

1 1/2 to 2 c. cooked chicken, diced

1/2 – 3/4 c. shredded gruyere or swiss cheese

3 T. butter

3 T. flour

1 c. milk or cream

1/2 c. chicken broth

2 T. white wine

1/4 t. nutmeg

salt and pepper

1/4 c. grated parmesan


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or spray an 11 X 7 or 9 x 9 baking dish or gratin dish with the same capacity.

2. In a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir for a minute or two to cook the flour. Then add the 2 T. white wine and the chicken broth and stir to  mix well. Add the milk and whisk until all lumps are gone and the sauce begins to thicken. (If the sauce is too thick, you can add a few tablespoons of milk or cream.) Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring. Season with the nutmeg, and the salt and pepper to taste.

3. Add the gruyere or swiss cheese and stir to melt the cheese.

4. Put the broccoli in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour about half of the sauce over the broccoli and then add the chicken evenly over the sauce. Pour the remaining sauce over the chicken and then sprinkle with the Parmesan.

5. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the top starts to become golden brown.


I hope you try one of the two Chicken Divan recipes and, by all means, roast a chicken. It’s one of the true values in the grocery. 





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I had two little visitors staying with us for a few days while their parents were out of town. We played inside, outside, checked out the toys at Walmart, picked up Happy Meals at McDonald’s, and had picnic lunches. Not knowing what each afternoon and evening would bring, I decided to let the crockpot do all the hard work and threw together one of my old stand-by crockpot meals for one evening. 

I’m glad I did, for a couple of reasons. One is that the house had the best aroma floating around for several hours. Another is that all I had to do when we were ready to eat was fix some rice, a salad, or some fruit, and we were all set.

If you followed the link, you found basic directions for a recipe that is quite adaptable, a beef stew that will take up any ethnic flavor depending on which way you want to go. We had a Mexican-type beef stew with rice and beans on the side. 

I layered a diced carrot, celery, a half of an onion, also diced, and a small-ish red bell pepper and a poblano pepper (I think) both cut up as well. On top of this, I put about a pound and a half of beef cubes and two cans of Ortega enchilada sauce. I turned the crockpot on low and let this cook for about 8 hours. I hoped the wee ones would like it. I knew they like some Mexican food and I operated on the theory that a really hungry kiddo would  like it, or at least eat it. They did.

For the next night. I fixed a chicken “tettrazini” casserole which we ate late, after soccer and baths. I know the kiddos were hungry and they ate everything on their plates. I’ll have to share the recipe for the “tettrazini” with their mom. It was easy, and I put it together well in advance of cooking it, perfect for a busy family. Thus, we have a good new stand-by.


1 can cream of mushroom soup*

1 can cream of chicken soup*

1 lb chicken breast, cooked, cubed (and cooled if you’re preparing it in advance)

8 oz. frozen green peas

3/4 to 1 lb. spaghetti

1/4 cup diced yellow onion, or more

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

8 oz. Mozzarella-Parmesan combo shredded cheese (or any shredded cheese your family likes

*Can use two cans of mushroom or cream of chicken soup instead of one of each.

1. Cook and cube the chicken and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375.

2. Cook the pasta as directed on the package. Add the peas, the onion, and the oil to the pot for the last 9-10 minutes. (All you organized cooks take note: If you have any leftover peas, just add them at the last minute.) Meanwhile, mix the canned soups together in a large mixing bowl.

3. Prepare a large oven proof dish, 9″ X 9″, 9″ X 13″, something relatively shallow, by spraying it with Pam or rubbing it with butter. I used a square 11″ X 11″ Corningware casserole.

4. Drain the pasta, peas and onion when done and mix with the soup. Add the chicken and about 1/4 of the cheese. Mix well and put into the casserole. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. [At this point, I covered the dish and put it in the refrigerator to cook later in the day. My chicken was already cool, and I let the pasta, peas and soup mixture cool for a while before I added the chicken to it.]

5. Bake 375 for about 15 to 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Let cool for a few minutes before serving. [Because my dish had been refrigerated nearly all day, I had to cook it for considerable longer, about 45 minutes.]


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