Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My solution to my traveling woes

Now that I am traveling so much, I have discovered that I don't want to stand in the kitchen for an hour when I first get home after either driving or flying all over Texas. However, I don't want fast food either, and sometimes leftovers just won't cut it. new solution is to make a casserole the night before and have it ready and waiting to go in the oven as soon as I get home. I did this tonight and it just worked like a charm...there are just so many recipes out there that you can make ahead of time and refrigerate until it is ready to be baked.

This casserole is one that I have now made three times. I made it once for one of my employees who was having knee surgery and needed something to feed his mom and sister coming to visit. I made it a second time when my sister was here...she loves chicken and broccoli. I made it a third time this week since I had to drive to Austin. It has been a hit every time and as long as you do the prepwork ahead of time, there is just no way you can mess it up.

Broccoli Chicken Lasagna

4 lasagna noodles, cooked
1 c cubed chicken, cooked
2 c broccoli florets, cooked
1/4 c salted butter
1/4 c all-purpose flour
fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp chicken bouillion granules
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 c milk
2 c shredded Italian-blend cheese

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, bouillion granules, pepper and Italian seasoning and whisk together. Add milk and cook and whisk until thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted and sauce is smooth. Add in chicken and broccoli and stir together until combined. Spread about a cup of the chicken mixture in the bottom of a 8x8 greased baking dish. Top with half of the lasagna noodles, cutting noodles to size. Cover with half of the remaining sauce and then layer remaining lasagna noodles over the top. Spread remaining sauce on top of noodles. Dish can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated up until this point. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. If dish is just coming out of the refrigerator, bake 45-50 minutes. If you like the top a little crispy like a crust, go for 60 minutes.

What I liked about this recipe: That it can be made ahead of time! AND one package of lasagna noodles goes a long way. I'm still on my first package of noodles. And this is also a great dish to use with leftover chicken...I constantly am freezing one leftover breast because a package comes with five and I only need four or something.
What I disliked about this recipe: Italian blend cheese is not my favorite.
Cool kitchen gadgets used: I love my whisk. I have three regular sized and three tiny whisks.
Tastiness factor: SO delicious and homey! What a great dish to come home to!


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