Thursday, April 1, 2010

Recipe Thursday - Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Each Thursday, I am going to be sharing a recipe with you!I realize there is an abundance of food blogs out there and I am definitely not a gourmet chef or anything. But I have something on my blog everyday, except Thursdays - and I really wanted to be able to offer at least 1 post every day, plus I happen to like food a lot! I enjoy collecting recipes and I am working towards getting a menu planned every month so that I can save money and save me from the "What's for dinner?" problem I have almost every night.

So here's what I would like to do:
Many of the recipes in my collection have been found online at some of my favorite food blogs and I have kind of a crazy approach to cooking. I almost never follow the recipe EXACTLY - I'm always substituting and changing it to fit my tastes, plus I have kind of a wierd thing of not measuring exactly. I just kind of throw things together a lot, so sometimes its hard to come up with a recipe with my exact way of doing things - but I'll try. So each Thursday I will pick a recipe from my collection and I will be sharing where I got the recipe and everything. But I am going to include my own photo of the finished food, the original recipe, and try and share the things I changed when I made it!

I would love your help too!
If you have a great recipe, especially week-night dinner recipes (but I would love all kinds of recipes) - please share it with me, by emailing me at I will try it out and feature it on my blog! If you have cooking tips or anything else in regards to cooking and food - please email me!

This week's Recipe:
I love a good casserole! I love the taste of a mixture of ingredients, they make great leftovers, and usually they are pretty quick and easy. When I found this recipe last week and saw potatoes, ham, and chicken - I just knew I had to give it a try and it didn't disappoint. YUMMY!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
by Mel from My Kitchen Cafe
My comments/changes from the original recipe is in italics!

(Mine didn't turn out as pretty as Mel's but it tasted good!)
*Serves 6 to 8
(I used a larger casserole dish, so I added just a little bit more of each)

- 4 slices white sandwich bread, torn into quarters (I don't use white bread - we are a wheat bread family - but actually I used some Italian Bread crumbs that I had - next time I will just use my wheat bread - as the bread crumbs added just a little too much spice)
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted

3 pounds russet potatoes (about 4-5 medium), peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped (I'm not very good at keeping onions around - so I use chopped onion (dry) a lot)!
1 teaspoon dried thyme (Didn't have it - so I didn't use it)
3 medium garlic cloves, finely minced (I used garlic powder)
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream or milk (I used cream and used a whole container full - as my family likes a lot of sauce)
6 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded, about 2 cups (I didn't get to the store and get some swiss cheese - so I made it more of a cheese sauce by adding 2 cups of grated monterey jack/cheddar cheese.)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat and sliced thinly
9 ounces deli ham, chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

For the topping, process the bread and butter in a food processor until coarsely ground. Set aside.

For the filling, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, making sure the oven rack is in the middle. Place the potatoes, 6 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are partially cooked, about 2 minutes (don’t overcook because they will continue to cook in the oven!). Carefully drain potatoes, or remove them with a slotted spoon, and transfer them to a bowl. Set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until the onions are softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute (this helps cook out the flour taste in the roux). Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and the cream or milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking often, until slightly thickened (if using milk instead of cream, you may have to cook longer for it to thicken up a bit). Off the heat, whisk in the Swiss cheese, Dijon, and cayenne pepper until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside until ready to use.

I was not really comfortable using raw chicken - so after I sliced it - I broiled the slices in my toaster oven. I didn't cook it completely - but just cooked it for about 10 minutes before adding it to the casserole. Also I think I will add some corn or other vegetable to it next time.

Toss the potatoes with half of the sauce and spread into the bottom of a lightly greased 9X13-inch baking pan. Layer alternating pieces of the chicken and ham over the potatoes, overlapping as needed. This is not a scientific procedure, just make sure that the chicken is in a single layer (not on top of each other) so that it cooks thoroughly. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the chicken and sprinkle with the bread crumb topping. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the casserole is bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes (add about 5-7 additional minutes onto the baking time if baking it after it has chilled in the refrigerator for more than a couple of hours). Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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Stater said...

You always make stuff look so good. Thanks for sharing your recipe!!!

Melanie said...

I'm so glad you liked this recipe - I love how yours looks so creamy and delicious!