Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Broccoli Chicken Casserole

For tonight's dinner I made broccoli chicken casserole. I got the recipe off of this new website I've been reading lately http://www.tasteofhome.com. It's probably not my favorite recipe website, but it had a few good ones that I liked the looks of! The problem that I've been running into lately is that I don't really like meat too much so I pretty much only ever cook with chicken because it's the only one I kind of like... and chicken can get pretty boring. So I've been looking around for some new recipes for chicken breast so that I can take a break from my go-to-meal: chicken with pasta and some tomato sauce (featured previously in this blog).

The recipe tells you how to cook the stuffing, but I thought that was weird because it was just exactly what the stuffing box said on the back, so it was kind of redundant. Also, the recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of water, and I was confused at the end because I thought I was supposed to pour that in the casserole dish with the other stuff, but it wasn't included in the stuff it said to put in with everything. Then I realized that that was just how much water you use to cook the stuffing, which I thought was kind of a strange thing to include. The back of the box was definitely clear on what you were supposed to do with it. For the soup, I used Campbells and for the stuffing I just got the Stop&Shop version of a box of StoveTop. I'm sure that's what the recipe assumed you were going to buy because they were the exact sizes that it said to get, so shopping for this was very simple. For the cheese, I just used half a bag of Stop&Shop bagged shredded Monteray Jack Cheese. It said to use cheddar, but there wasn't a Stop&Shop version of shredded cheddar, so I just used the Monterary instead because I know it's fairly similar and I didn't feel like buying a large cube and shredding it myself. Plus, the bag was cheaper, and I knew it'd be easy to finish the rest of it by using it to top off the pasta I'll probably make tomorrow since I will probably be lazy and not cook a fancy new recipe (aka - I already used more than this week's food budget to buy more stuff for a recipe...)

It was REALLY good!! I'm sure it's probably tons unhealthy because everything yummy always is, but cooking it was actually fun, even though I had a bad headache, and it was even more fun to eat :) It's definitely one of my new favorites and I can't wait to have the leftovers tomorrow for lunch.

What I Learned: I guess for some reason I didn't really understand the different kinds of ways you can cook chicken, so I Googled how to cook chicken and discovered that boiling it is actually really easy and makes the chicken very moist. I was afraid that if I sautéed this chicken like I normally do for recipes that it would end up too dry for the casserole and I wouldn't like it (sometimes I find it tough when I have it in with the pasta and I end up leaving a lot of the chicken pieces on the side of my plate) so I just stuck it in a pot for ten minutes and it was perfect! Also, I used frozen vegetables for the first time (remember, I'm cooking on a college budget!) - I actually already had the broccoli in the freezer so I just stuck it in the microwave for 4 minutes and chopped off the hard bottoms. I'd never defrosted anything before today either so that was interesting. I had to Google how to defrost frozen vegetables and it turns out there are about 10 different methods so I ended up just throwing half the bag in a glass measuring cup that I had used for something else and covering it with some plastic wrap and zapping it for a few minutes. I was surprised - I thought it would take longer than a few minutes to defrost, but the microwave actually did a really good job. If I was going to have frozen veggies as a side sometime, I would definitely just do that (maybe for a little longer to make sure they were totally warm on the inside) and throw some butter and salt on them and they'd taste fine. There were lots of first times tonight! It was fun :)

Sorry, I know this one was long, but this recipe was so awesome and I had a really good time with it. Hope you liked my review!

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 package (6 oz) chicken stuffing mix
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed broccoli cheese soup, undiluted
  • 1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

  • In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in stuffing mix. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, layer chicken and broccoli in a greased 11-in. x 7-in baking dish. Top with soup. Fluff stuffing with a fork; spoon over soup. Sprinkle with cheese.
  • Bake uncovered at 350˚ for 30-35 minutes, or until heated through

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