Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

I've been wanting to try the Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole recipe from Cover & Bake for a while. We finally made it this month. It's really, really, really good. It's basically scalloped potatoes topped with chicken & ham, doused with even more cheese sauce, and topped with bread crumbs.
SP got to shingle the chicken and ham atop the potatoes.
It's pretty, the layers, but it doesn't matter if the layers are pretty or even because the cheese cream sauce covers everything.
Every casserole should have homemade bread crumbs on top.
Bubbling sauce, golden and crispy bred crumbs - yum!
It's not too saucy, just right. The chicken stays juicy yet cooks through. We did give it an extra 10 minutes, just to be sure, because I am paranoid about eating even slightly pink chicken.
A lot of the America's Test Kitchen casseroles we've made have had a sauce that is a blend of chicken stock and cream/milk, maybe some cheese (in this case, gruyere), and maybe some herbs like thyme and/or bay leaves. I really like the flavor of stock with cream for a sauce.
Even though we let our casserole cool for a bit, it still slid when we served it. Oh well. It's still delicious. We steamed broccoli for alongside the casserole.
It's filling and warming, lots of flavors, not just the chicken and ham but the Dijon and gruyere shine through. Our indoor fresh thyme isn't yet large enough so we used dried thyme.

Definitely a make again casserole. The other thing I really like about making casseroles: we can get all the clean up done while the casserole bakes, so the actual post dinner clean up is super quick and easy.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
from Cover & Bake
we got 4 dinners/8 servings

4 slices white sandwich bread
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8" thick
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme (or dried)
6 tbsp flour
2 c low sodium chicken stock
3/4 c heavy cream
6 oz gruyere, shredded
3 tbsp Dijon
1/4 tsp cayenne
black pepper
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each breast cut horizontally in half (into thin cutlets) and then halved crosswise into about 3"x 3" pieces
12 oz deli ham (baked or Virginia-style), sliced 1/4" thick, halved or quartered into 3" pieces
lemon wedges

For Topping:

  • Tear bread into pieces and place into food processor. 
  • Add melted butter. 
  • Pulse until coarsely ground.
  • Set aside.

For Filling:

  • Heat oven to 400.
  • Place potatoes, 6 c water, 1 tsp salt in Dutch oven/large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, until potatoes are partially cooked, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon/spider, remove potatoes to a bowl. Set aside.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan. Add onion, thyme, salt and cook until onions are softened. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden. Slowly whisk in chicken stock and cream. Bring to a simmer, whisking often. Remove from heat and whisk in gruyere, Dijon, and cayenne until smooth/cheese is melted. Season with salt & pepper. 
  • Toss the potatoes with half the sauce. Spread in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Shingle the chicken and ham on top of the potatoes, overlapping as needed. Pour the remaining sauce over the chicken/ham. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top. 
  • Bake until chicken is cooked through & sauce is bubbling, 30-35 minutes. We gave ours close to 45 minutes to be sure the chicken was cooked. 
  • Cool 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

*If desired, can add 2 medium garlic cloves, minced, after onions are softened and before adding flour.
*If desired, can sprinkle casserole with chopped fresh parsley after baking.

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