Monday, July 26, 2010

Left over Chicken Casserole!

We love chicken around these parts and I had 3 left over chicken breasts from chicken salad a few nights ago. Sooo , I decided to make up a casserole! Before going into it, I wanted to share a tip. ALWAYS roast more chicken then you need!!! This makes things LOADS easier the rest of the week!! I roasted 6 good size chicken breast Friday or Saturday last week. I used 3 for a nice summer chicken salad ( we have alot of these during the real hot months), and put the other three in the fridge for something later on. Now is the time! The oven would have been on forever today if I had to roast these then cook the casserole! So, I guess I'm saving on gas too! yippee! Ok, now for tutorial time!

First things first. Shred those carrots. I used two medium ones.

I cute my carrots in half and then in half again and then in small cube-ish shapes. The smaller they are, the faster they cook!

Then cut up some onions. However much you like will do. If you hate them you could just put in a teaspoon more or less of onion powder.

Now for the celery. Wash, and cut up. I used the heart of the celery. I think its the best for soups and casseroles, leaves and all. Next time I will use green beans instead I think. This is more of a chicken soup casserole. With green beans it would be more of a chicken pot pie casserole! Add what veggies you like!

Now, get your pot on medium hi and take some olive oil and give it a few turns around the pot... maybe a tbsp or 2. As your veggies soften, they will soak up the oil, so if it looks to dry, just add alittle bit more! Stir here or there for awhile till they soften.

Now for the garlic!! YUMMO! After the vegetables have softened a bit... maybe 6 minutes or so, add the garlic. I use a good amount, probably 2-3 big cloves ( about a heaping tablespoon of minced), but use as much as you would like. TURN DOWN the heat now so the garlic doesn't burn and taste bitter. Keep stirring here and there.

Salt and pepper to taste. I'm a bit of a pepper monkey, but you add as much as you like. REMEMBER, you can always add more so go slow.... a bit hard to pick out the pepper and salt later!!

Now I added a can of cream of chicken soup. After that, I filled that can up again with milk and added that!

stir the yumminess!! Let it bubble slightly!

Now for good measure, I added a tablespoonish pat of butter. So yummy butter is!

Now comes herbs.... I happen to have some fresh rosemary which goes GREAT with chicken, so I added a spring ( or 1/4 to half a teaspoon of dry). You can add whatever you like, or omit it all together!! Don't you just love cooking!!! FUN FUN!

Now, if using fresh rosemary, grab the tip, pull the leaves off the twig and chop chop chop! I don't like HUGE pieces of rosemary floating around in my food, so I get these pretty tiny. Leave that aside.

Now time for the chicken. When I roast a big batch, I usually add salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to them. If you can, buy bone on. More flavor and still real easy to prepare. Plus , always cheaper!

Rip off the chicken from the bone.

Chop all up in cub-ish pieces.

Poor into the yummy bubbley goodness!

Add the herbage.

Stir it all up!

Now, grab a big handful of your fave cheese ( this is colby and jack shreaded mix), and dump in. Stir it up!

Now, spray your favorite casserole dish to make things a bit easyer for your kiddos to clean! OH yes, they do the dishes!!

Poor in the mixture!

Fun part! Grab a package of bisquits ( we got these for 30 cents on sale at price chopper!!)

Lay them out. Now I chopped these into four pieces each. Just makes it stretch a bit and fits all the spots on the dish. You can leave them whole if you like.

Now I squished them a bit, and placed them all over the top of the dish.

Well...ofcourse....more cheese! One more handful!

Place in the oven ( pre-heated to whatever temp the bisquits require), and cook for as long as the bisquits need or till the top is browned a bit!

It's done!!

But wait!!! For some fun.... grab some chives from your garden if you have some and snip your way to the fancy finish!

Ta da!!! And what does the family say?
Ya or Nah?
This one is DEFINETLY a keeper!! I just love making things up on the fly... the risk is, sometimes it's good and sometimes , not so much!
This time everyone really loved it, even my hubby who is feeling icky right now, ate a big bowl and actually loved it and wanted more!!
Play around with this one, I can see alot of versions that could come from the basics here.

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