I like casseroles in theory. Many have all or most of the food groups in them, and that’s a plus. You can make it all in one pan, which saves on dish washing. That’s another plus. There are usually leftovers, definitely a third plus. And, casseroles are great to make if you’re delivering dinner to friends.
However, I’m not a huge fan of casseroles in practice ‘cause so many of them end up like a giant jumble of mish-mashed stuff that ends up not being too tasty.
However, I found one that was delicious and definitely not a jumbled mish-mash. It also was delicious reheated, although you may not have leftovers. And, better yet, He Who Must Be Fed loved it. This recipe for Chicken Broccoli Supreme comes from the Just Get Off Your Butt and Bake blog.
For the casserole
- 1 lb. fresh broccoli, broken into pieces
- 3 cups cooked chicken, broken into pieces
- 1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese
- 2 tubes Ritz crackers, crushed
- 1 stick melted butter
For the sauce:
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
- ¼ cups cornstarch, dissolved in ½ cup cold water
- ⅓ cup chicken broth
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 cups milk
- 1½ cups of grated cheddar cheese
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9×13 pan. Layer your cooked chicken into the pan. In the meantime fill a medium-sized saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Drop the broccoli into the water and boil for five minutes then drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain the broccoli well then add it to the chicken layer.
In a separate saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/3 cup melted butter, cornstarch dissolved in water, chicken broth, salt and pepper and milk. Stir well until sauce thickens. Turn heat to low and add 1 ½ cups of the cheese. Whisk until the cheese is melted. Pour sauce over the chicken and broccoli. Then top with the remaining 1 ½ cups of grated cheddar cheese.
Melt the stick of butter. Crush your Ritz crackers. I put mine in a zippered plastic bag and took a meat tenderizer to it. Be careful not to crush them too small. In a medium-sized bowl, add the crushed crackers to the melted butter, mixing well, then sprinkle the crumbs over the top.
Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
(I apologize for not having a good photo of the end product so you can see how delicious it looks. We ate it so fast there wasn’t time to get a photo.)
Full recipe disclosure: The first time I made this, I used chicken breasts that I cooked separately. The second time, I brought a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store and used both the white and dark meat, which resulted in a much more tender and tasty casserole.