Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu Florentine Casserole

I have this weird habit of checking my email first thing in the morning on my iPhone. It goes something like this: the alarm goes off, I check facebook, I check the weather, then I check my email. All without getting out of bed (and mostly not even moving at all). Convenient, right? Maybe a little lazy, and probably one of the reasons we are rushing out the door every morning to get to school, but it's a habit I can't break. If I skip my iPhone browsing, it throws me off my groove for the day.

So one morning last month, I was browing my email and I got one from LDS Living Magazine. I get their emails weekly or so (maybe more) so I didn't really pay too much attention to it, but I clicked it for some reason and saw this little ad in the email about a casserole contest the magazine was having. And then I became obsessed with casseroles.

The girls and I brainstormed some ideas, and one of them that we came up with was like a gourmet macaroni and cheese bake. We combined some of our favorite flavors and put them together to create this dish. When we made it, we didn't even know what it would taste like, but it was like heaven on a fork! The cheese sauce alone is to die for. We kind of had to show self-restraint after we taste tested the cheese sauce or we would have eaten the whole thing!
So creamy and yummy, seriously you have to try it!
Start off by making your roux- butter and flour.
Add in your milk until it is thick.
Then add your cheese- shredded Italian blend and some Gorgonzola. Not the best smelling cheese but the flavor is amazing! Trust me!
Saute your shredded cooked chicken in some garlic infused olive oil. You will thank me later.
Thinly slice your deli ham.... 
Love Campenelle style pasta! It reminds me of mini lasagna noodles. Super tender too. You can replace this with something else if you can't find it, just nothing too thick (don't use penne, for example, but maybe orrechiete or something)
Love the ruffles on the edge of the pasta! Cook it very al dente, it will cook more while it bakes.
Add it all together in a sprayed casserole dish...
And sprinkle with your bread crumb mixture.
When it's done, it will look golden on top. And it makes your kitchen smell divine!
Serve it up with a salad and a roll and you are set! Seriously, the kids ate this up and raved about it!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Florentine Casserole
by Girls in Aprons- January 3, 2012

1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Italian blend cheese
6 oz. crumbled Goronzola cheese
1/2 lb. Campanelle pasta
1 lb chicken, cooked and shredded
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
9 oz. deli ham, thinly sliced
1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add salt to taste and cook the pasta to al dente. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat and add the flour. Stir until combined and bubbly, at least one minute. Slowly add in your milk, whisking the entire time. Stir constantly, until mixture is bubbly and thick. Add the 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper; combine. Add shredded cheese and gorgonzola and stir until cheese is melted and well combined.

Heat the 2 Tbsp olive oil in a saute pan and add the garlic. Stir for one minute until fragrant. Add your cooked, shredded chicken and salt and pepper to taste. Saute for a couple of minutes.

Add pasta, chicken, sliced ham and drained spinach to the cheese mixture. Stir until well mixed and place in a sprayed 2-quart casserole dish. Stir together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and 2 tsp olive oil. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the pasta dish and bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

1 comment:

  1. I'm new to your blog and I'm glad I found it because this recipe . . . wow! I am eating it for dinner right now and it's amazing.