I wanted to share a quick and easy recipe with you today which, hopefully, will enable you to use ingredients you already have in your kitchen, both in the freezer and in the larder. Quick Chick Casserole goes together in a flash and is perfect for those nights when you are tired and not wanting to cook anything complicated or involved, or when you are totally lacking in inspiration. Maybe even both!
You can have this delicious casserole ready to pop into the oven in just a few minutes and sitting in front of your family in about the time it takes to cook some rice and set the table! No fuss, no muss and truly very little to clean up afterwards, I guarantee! Quick and very easy!
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO COOK QUICK CHICK CASSEROLE
Perhaps like me, you have cans of cooked chicken in your store cupboard. You might not be sure of what to do with them other than making sandwiches. I can promise you canned chicken is not just for sandwiches!
|2 cans of chicken breast meat, well drained and broken into chunks|
|3 cups frozen broccoli florets, break up any large ones into smaller bits|
|1 can (14 ½ oz) of condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted|
|1 cup of real mayonnaise|
|½ TBS of fresh lemon juice|
|2 tsp mild curry powder|
|1 cup fine dry seasoned breadcrumbs|
|¼ cup of butter, melted|
|Salt and black pepper to taste|
HINTS AND TIPS FOR MAKING QUICK CHICK CASSEROLE
- Make sure your chicken is drained really well and is fairly dry. You will not want any extra liquid diluting the sauce.
- Do not break up your chicken too much when you are laying it in the bottom of your casserole dish. You want there to be discernible chunks of chicken in the finished dish.
- If you do not have canned chicken, you may also use leftover diced cooked chicken or even cooked turkey for this casserole. The equivalent of 4 cups should be the perfect amount.
- If your frozen broccoli florets are quite large, break or cut them into smaller pieces. You will not want your broccoli to be still semi-raw when the rest of the casserole is done. If everything is about the same size, they will take approximately the same time to cook.
- Do not be tempted to use low fat or no fat mayonnaise in this recipe. Full fat is what works best, and you may risk the sauce splitting if you use anything else.
- If you have no cream of chicken soup, or for some reason do not want to use cream of chicken soup, you can make your own cream sauce to use in this casserole. Simply melt 2 TBS butter in a saucepan and whisk in 2 TBS all-purpose flour. Cook for about a minute. Whisk in 1 cup each milk and chicken broth. Cook and stir over moderate heat until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to cool before proceeding.
- If you do not like or don’t have curry powder, you may leave it out. I use a medium strength of curry powder. If you like things a bit spicier feel free to use a hot curry powder.
- Spread all of your ingredients out as evenly in the baking dish as you can, from the chicken to the creamy sauce topping.
- If you do not have fine dry breadcrumbs feel free to use buttered cracker crumbs or crushed stale potato chips (leaving out the melted butter in this case.)
- You may add a bit of cheese to the crumb mixture before sprinkling it over top of the casserole if you wish.
HOW TO MAKE QUICK CHICK CASSEROLE
This is a casserole that is quite easy to put together. It is as simple as layering a few ingredients together in a dish and banging it into the oven to bake.
You can also prepare this the night before, up to the point of adding the crumbs. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it. Take the dish out of the fridge about half an hour before baking, sprinkle with the crumbs and bake as below.
Butter a shallow baking dish either with some spray canola oil or butter. Drain your cans of chicken really well and then scatter the chicken into the prepared dish, spreading it out evenly and leaving the chicken in bite sized chunks.
Scatter the broccoli over top of the chicken, making sure that you spread it all out evenly. Break or cut up any larger bits so that the florets are all fairly uniform in size. No need to thaw.
At this point I like to add some seasoning. Just a sprinkle of salt as the soup is already quite salty. I sprinkle on a bit more pepper as we like pepper.
Measure the undiluted soup, mayonnaise, seasonings, and freshly squeezed lemon juice into a bowl.
Stir all of these ingredients together until everything is evenly mixed.
Spoon dollops of this mixture evenly over top of the broccoli.
Use a rubber spatula to spread this mixture out to cover everything in the casserole dish as evenly as you can. Try to get it into all of the nooks and crannies.
Melt your butter and then mix the dried breadcrumbs into it until they are evenly coated.
Sprinkle the buttered crumbs over top of the casserole. At this point I like to place my casserole dish on a baking tray so that I can slide it easily in and out of the oven.
Bake the casserole in your preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling and heated through and the buttered crumb topping is golden brown.
While it is baking, set your table and prepare any extras you want to serve with the finished dish. Let the casserole stand for a few minutes before serving.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH QUICK CHICK CASSEROLE
You can serve this deliciously simple chicken casserole with either steamed rice or potatoes. It is also exceptionally good on its own with just a leafy green salad if you are trying to cut down on your intake of carbohydrates. Cauliflower rice is good with this, as is bulgur or couscous. Baked potatoes are also lovely. Sometimes we have mashed potatoes with it. Boiled and buttered baby new potatoes in the spring are also nice.
Whatever you choose to serve with this delicious casserole your family is sure to love it. You will love it for its ease of preparation and clean up! This is what I call a real doddle of a dish! Quick and simple to make and well easy on the budget! I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t be happy to have a recipe like this up their sleeve and ready to pull out when the occasion arises!
- 2 cans of chicken breast meat, well drained and broken into chunks
- 3 cups frozen broccoli florets, break up any large ones into smaller bits
- 1 can (14 ½ oz) of condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
- 1 cup of real mayonnaise
- ½ TBS of fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp mild curry powder
- 1 cup fine dry seasoned breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup of butter, melted
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350*F.
- Butter an 11 by 7-inch casserole dish.
- Break up the chicken and spread it out in the bottom of the casserole dish evenly.
- Cut the broccoli into bite sized pieces if too large, and then scatter it over top of the chicken. Season lightly with some salt and black pepper, if desired.
- Whisk the undiluted soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice and curry powder together in a bowl.
- Spread this evenly over top of the broccoli florets, using a spatula and getting it into all the nooks and crannies.
- Mix together the melted butter and dry breadcrumbs. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over top of the sauce/soup mixture.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling. Serve hot without or without steamed rice if desired.
Marie Rayner is a retired Chef, freelance writer, recipe developer, food blogger, and Cookbook author. She makes her home in Chester, UK, where she lives with her husband, Todd, and their much beloved English Cocker, Mitzie. Her motto is “Life is far too short to eat bad food,” and her goal is to share delicious and easy recipes which anyone can enjoy and cook in the comfort of their own home.