Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chicken, Cheddar, and Bacon Casserole

Click the picture to go to the page with this recipe. Some of the people's comments might be useful to you.

Some pre-notes about this recipe:
I ended up using a lot less cheese than this recipe calls for. I put in about 2/3 of what it called for and it already looked like a ton, so I didn't put in the rest.

I'm not positive about this, but I think if you want to make the recipe a little bit more healthful, you could substitute the bacon grease and the butter that you fry the chicken in with canola oil. But I'm making that up, so I don't know if it'll work.

Also, be aware that one of the ingredients it calls for is chicken bouillon, but then it never tells you to put it in in the instructions. You want to put either the 1/2 cup chicken broth or extra 1/2 cup of milk at the same time you put in the 1 1/2 cups of milk.

One last thing: you probably won't need as much of the bread crumb mixture as it says, but since bread crumbs are pretty cheap I wouldn't worry about it too much.

What you need:
  • 8 ounces mini penne pasta or elbow macaroni
  • 6 to 8 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound chicken breasts or chicken tenders, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or more milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
  • 8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces American cheese, shreds or chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

What you need to do:
  • Cook the pasta in boiling salted water following package directions
  • Grease a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish. Heat oven to 350°
  • In a large skillet or saucepan, cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon to paper towels; crumble. Pour off grease in the skillet, leaving about 1 or 2 teaspoons
  • Add butter to the skillet and cook the chicken over medium-low heat until cooked through
  • Add green onions and cook for 1 minute longer
  • Add flour and stir until blended into the fat. Gradually stir in the milk, cooking and stirring until slightly thickened. Stir in salt, pepper, and thyme. Add the cheeses and thawed peas, along with crumbled bacon. Spoon into the prepared baking dish
  • Combine bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon melted butter; sprinkle over the casserole. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until topping is browned and casserole is bubbly
Serves 6