Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Recipe: Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

I don't like chicken. I overdid it as a teenager, when I wouldn't eat red meat or pork, and now I can't stand the texture and avoid it at all costs. Hide it cubed in a stir-fry, shred it up, batter it and fry it...and then maybe we can talk. So, "R" and I are always looking for chicken recipes that I'm willing to try. This one fit my criteria of "hiding" the chicken, and we both enjoyed it.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole with creamy mustard sauce (Makes 2 servings- 3 cups, Total time = 40 minutes)

For the Chicken:
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup apple juice or cider (we used honeycrisp apple juice)
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. stone-ground mustard (we used mustard that we already had, not stone-ground)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 cup broccoli florets, blanched
salt and cayenne pepper to taste

For the Casserole:
2 round sourdough loaves (each 6"- we found them at Giant Eagle in the bakery)
2-4 thin slices smoked ham (2 oz.)
2 slices of Swiss cheese, divided
2 tsp. grated Parmesan, divided

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Coat a small baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Melt butter over medium-high heat in a sauté pan.
Add chicken and sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
Stir in shallots and sauté until softened, 2 minutes.
Sprinkle mixture with flour, cook 1 minute.
Combine apple juice and broth; slowly add, stirring constantly to avoid clumping.
Stir in cream, Parmesan, mustard, and thyme; simmer after each addition until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.
Add broccoli; season with salt and cayenne.
Reduce heat to low.
Hallow out loaves by cutting off tops and tearing out insides (remove as much bread as possible).
Compress any remaining bread inside loaves to make room for filling.
Toast loaves directly on oven rack, about 5 minutes, remove to prepared baking sheet.
Arrange ham slices in bottom of each loaf.
Using a slotted spoon, divide chicken mixture evenly between two loaves, reserving sauce in pan.
Top the chicken with a slice of Swiss cheese and sprinkle with 1 tsp. of Parmesan.
Bake casserole until cheese melts, 7-10 minutes.
Serve each casserole with reserved cream sauce*.
*sauce not pictured

Our only advice is that maybe pre-baking the sourdough loaf should be left out. It became very crusty and was difficult to cut. Once the sauce soaked in, it was fine, but the initial cutting was tough to do. I think that it would crisp up enough with the 7-10 minutes it bakes with the chicken filling and cheese.

This recipe came from the October 2010 issue of Cuisine at Home magazine. It had all of the great flavors of a classic chicken cordon bleu, and who doesn't love a bread bowl?! It also perfectly "hid" the chicken for me. I'm weird, I know.


Melinda said...

I also cannot stand poultry, and do my best to "hide" it in recipes. Thanks for giving me a new idea!