Chicken, Broccoli & Cauliflower Casserole

I love casseroles!  Sometimes there’s a lot of prep and washing dishes but I can get it done ahead of time and not spend all night cleaning.  Also, they’re versatile – there are endless combinations of things you can put together.  And, above all they’re comfort food and who doesn’t love a little comfort food?

I have a recipe for a broccoli/cauliflower side dish that I love.  I don’t know where I got it but I suspect my dad gave it to me (where he got it, who knows!).  A while ago I decided I wanted to make it as a main dish.  I had leftover rice in the refrigerator so I threw that in and I added some chicken.  I knew it would be good because the original recipe was good – but it was better than good.  My family (even the youngest who hates broccoli) loved it and devoured it. 

I made it again last night and thought I’d share it.  I can’t take credit for this recipe and I’m sorry I can’t give credit to the original creator!

Here it is, ready to go in the oven:

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Chicken, Broccoli & Cauliflower Casserole

4 cooked chicken breast halves, cut up
2-3 cups cooked rice
1 large onion, chopped
3 eggs
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 box of chicken stuffing (I used Stove Top)
Butter or margarine (whatever the stuffing mix requires)
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 head of broccoli (pre-cooked & chopped)
1 head of cauliflower (pre-cooked & chopped)

Note:  if you have pre-cooked chicken and rice and frozen broccoli & cauliflower, this recipe is a breeze!  (I didn’t so I had to do all the prep work.) (It’s so worth it though!)

Put the onion, mayonnaise, eggs & soups into a blender or food processor and puree.

Mix the broccoli, cauliflower & chicken pieces together.  Layer half on the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan.  Spread half the rice on top of the veggies & chicken.  Next goes half the cheese.  Then half the soup mixture.  Repeat all the layers.  Now make the stuffing and sprinkle it across the top.

Bake at 350° for an hour (I had mine in the refrigerator all day so it will undoubtedly take less time if you put it directly in the oven).  It’s done when it’s all hot and bubbly around the edges.

This fed my family of 4 and we had leftovers so you could probably feed 6 with it. 

Close up pics of the deliciousness:

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Yum.  I want more.  Good thing we had leftovers!!

Chicken Pot Pie (or How to Stretch a Small Amount of Chicken!)

I had 3 chicken tenderloins (when I say tenderloin, I mean chicken pieces the size of a chicken tender).  That’s not a lot of chicken but I have found that you can make a chicken pot pie with just a small amount of chicken and it doesn’t seem like it’s just a small amount of chicken.  Just load it with veggies!

I haven’t written down any recipes online in actual recipe form before so bare with me if this isn’t in the exact right format!

Here’s my Chicken Pot Pie:
(Serves 4 in my family)

2 pie shells (I made mine but you can use store bought)

3-4 frozen chicken tenderloins
2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 carrot (peeled & chopped)
1 celery stalk (chopped)
2 potatoes (peeled & chopped)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
1 can cream of celery soup (you can make your own sauce if you want – a bechamel works great for the filling – I would have but I didn’t have any milk)
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
Salt (teaspoon or so)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Boil water, add chicken tenderloins and poultry seasoning.  After the chicken is nearly cooked thru (I always just take a piece and cut it to check), add the potatoes, salt (I just toss some in water – probably about a teaspoon), corn & peas to the chicken water.  Continue to boil until the potatoes are just tender.  Remove from heat & drain.  Rinse with cold water to stop the potatoes from cooking.

In a saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the oil.  Add the carrots and celery.  When they are almost cooked, add the onions.  Cook until onions are tender.  Remove from heat.

Now take out the chicken tenderloins and cut them into small pieces.

Throw everything together in a bowl, add the cream of celery soup.  Fold it all together so the soup is evenly mixed.  Taste and add salt & pepper as needed. 
Pour into bottom pie shell.  Cover with top pie shell.  Crimp together.  Cut 5 slits in top to allow steam to escape.

Bake in preheated 375° oven for 40-45 minutes (check pie after 30 minutes to see if you need to cover the edges of the pie shell so they don’t over brown). 

Have a delicious homemade chicken pot pie!

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Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken – Epic FAIL!

I found a recipe for Teriyaki Chicken that you make in the slow cooker (or as I still call it – the crock pot).  It sounded good.  Teriyaki sauce, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, chicken.  It probably would have been good if I had just marinated the chicken for an hour and then sauteed it… But 6 hours on low in the slow cooker made it so POTENT.  I like flavor but this was too much. 

I’m not going to link to the recipe because I’m not sure if my slow cooker just cooks too hot or something (I’ve suspected that before) and I don’t want to trash a perfectly good recipe because of errors on my part. 

I say errorS because it called for a pound of cut up chicken breast and I only had frozen tenderloins in one of those big flash-frozen chicken bags and I didn’t know how many equalled a pound… So I used 6.  I don’t think it was enough.

Another problem I had… The recipe said to use the sauce the chicken had cooked in and thicken it in a saucepan with a teaspoon of cornstarch.  Easy enough, right?  Maybe for some people… Haha.  But I only have one saucepan that I can make rice in – it’s the perfect size and the only pan I have that will make rice without getting crunchy uncooked rice.  That’s the pan I should have use for the sauce thickening.  But… I was making rice to put the chicken and sauce on.  I found a pan I never use and couldn’t remember why I never use it – but it was the right size for the sauce so I used it.  Wellllll apparently the bottom is warped so try as I might, I could not get the sauce to cook down and thicken (I have a glass top stove which is lovely and awful depending on the moment!). 

After struggling to thicken the sauce for 20 minutes or so, I gave up and figured it would be fine as it was.

Then I discovered the amount of chicken I had used wasn’t very much.  I didn’t take into account ‘shrinkage’.  So now it seems I don’t have enough chicken to feed the family.

I then decide to saute some carrots to add bulk to the meal (and also add a vegetable which I had previously forgotten about).  I only had 3 small carrots.  Hmmm.  I cut them really small into match stick size so it looks like there’s more than there is.  I start to saute them and I think it would be fitting to the meal if I put a little soy sauce and sesame seeds in the pan with them while they saute.  Sounded good anyway.  It was not.  The soy sauce soaked completely into the carrots making them taste like orange salt licks.  And trust me, I love salt.  I tried rinsing the soy sauce off but it was too late. It was soaked in.  Ugh.

So I go to my husband and tell him that dinner is ruined.  We can feed the kids but we can’t eat because I didn’t make enough chicken.  He decides to help.  He sees I’ve made plenty of rice and decides to plate it up and divvy up the chicken.  At this point I’m fed up and tell him – “yeah OK, see what you can do”.  So he does his thing and we wind up with 4 plates of food.  However he used all of the sauce thinking he needed to cover every inch of rice.  Lol. It was so bad.  So strong.  So gross.  I ate a little but gave most to the dog. 

I didn’t even take a picture – I was so disgusted!

Sorry family!