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Casseroles get a bad rap but sometimes you’re looking for simple and tasty and let’s face it, they are the ultimate in comfort food.  I chose to rely on the old standby of Campbell’s cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soups.  Definately easy, great for the younger members of your household and most importantly you can adapt this recipe to include your favorite vegetable or topping of your choice (buttery Ritz crackers come to mind).  Use the recipe that follows as a guide and make changes that suit your family’s tastes.

July 2009 126  Creamy Chicken, Mushroom and Broccoli Casserole

Ingredients

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces*

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp unsalted butter

1 cup sweet onion (I used Vidalia)

3 garlic cloves, minced

8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can of cream of mushroom soup

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can of cream of chicken soup

1/2 milk

1 lb broccoli florets (if you using frozen, defrost first)

1 Cup plain bread crumbs

3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 Cup Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

 

Method

Preheat oven to 350.  Lighly grease and 11 x 7-inch baking dish.

Heat olive oil and butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute 3-4 minutes until translucent.  Add mushrooms and saute until tender about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and saute 2 minutes more.   Season with salt and pepper.

Blend both soups with milk.  Add chicken, mushroom mixture, and broccoli, stirring well.  Spoon chicken mixture into baking dish. 

Blend butter with bread crumbs.   Season with salt and pepper.  Top chicken mixture with buttered bread crumbs.  Add freshly grated cheese to the top of casserole.

*If you’re not using leftover chicken.  You can wash and pat dry chicken breasts.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place chicken into 350 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. 

Kitchen Note:  Try using Panko breadcrumbs in place of dry bread crumbs.  They are lighter than traditional bread crumbs.  I served my casserole on  a bed of thin, egg noodles from Trader Joe’s.

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