Monday, December 13, 2010

Chicken Casserole for the Soul

This morning Henry woke up congested.  When that happens, I know we're in for a LONG day.  Surprisingly, Henry was actually in pretty good spirits, which allowed his mommy to be in pretty good spirits too!

Eating, however, was not that great.  As soon as I saw that Henry didn't feel well, I decided to quickly put up a chicken soup.  I knew there was a good chance he wouldn't eat it, but I love chicken soup so either way someone would be happy at dinner.  My main problem with chicken soup, however, is that my husband does not like to eat boiled chicken, and since I'm a vegetarian (but yes, I do drink the chicken broth), I won't eat the chicken either.  Oh, and I should mention I never throw out food.  So today I decided to see if I could make some sort of chicken casserole out of the boiled chicken.

I saw lots of recipes online that called for cream soups to mix with chicken.  Problem is we're kosher (don't mix dairy and meat) and I wasn't going to the store for any ingredients.  I liked the idea of a chicken pot-pie, but I definitely was not going to be making any pastry dough or biscuits for the top.  So, I improvised and made a chicken pot-pie type casserole with whatever ingredients I had in my freezer or pantry. 

Was it a success?  Well, my husband really liked it.  Henry accidentally took a bite when he mistook the spoon coming to his mouth for a spoon full of chicken broth.  He was none too happy, immediately took the offending pea out of his mouth, and then refused the pot-pie, as well as the soup that he had previously been enjoying.  Lesson learned - if Henry is eating something happily, don't sneak something else in.

What do you do with leftover boiled chicken?

Kitchen-Sink Chicken Casserole

3 Tbsp light margarine (I use Smart Balance light since it is pareve)
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup frozen peas
1 carrot, diced
1/2 cup frozen cauliflower florets
1 baked sweet potato, diced
1.5 cups shredded or diced chicken
1.5 Tbsp flour
2 cups chicken stock
1/8 tsp dried sage
1/8 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

1.  Preheat oven to 350.

2.  In a skillet, melt margarine and add onion to saute for about 3 minutes.

3.  Add remaining vegetables and saute until all vegetables are defrosted and softened - about 7-8 minutes. 

4.  Then add shredded chicken and flour, and stir to combine.  Let cook about 1 minute.  Then add chicken stock, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.

5.  Top skillet with panko breadcrumbs and bake in oven for about 15 minutes.  For the last minute, turn on the broiler to get a nice brown crust on top.

Serves about 3-4 people.

Happy and (mostly) healthy eating!


  1. This casserole looks yummy, but couldn't you just make chicken broth with chicken bones? Then you wouldn't have the leftover meat. If not, there's always chicken salad!

  2. Hi, that looks really good. I also like to use ingredients on hand instead of following recipes.
    You might enjoy this post on my site, about substituting for meat and dairy products:

  3. Naomi - I never really thought to do that! I guess when my mom told me how to make chicken soup way back when, I always kept in mind that she used chicken pieces. Do you buy the bones from the butcher? Or save bones from other meals and freeze them?

    Mother in Israel - already checked it out...great list! Excited to try the zucchini as a sub for chopped liver :)

  4. This looks so delicious. It made me want chicken pot-pie for dinner! You're the best mom every for reparing chicken soup at the first sign of a cold!

  5. Ali - Are you in L.A.? If so, you can buy kosher chicken bones in a big package for about $1 at Western Kosher! It's specifically for making soup and works really well. The longer you simmer, the more flavor. Good luck!

  6. Thanks Laura!

    And Naomi, I'm in NJ, but I will definitely ask about the bones at the butcher the next time I'm there. What a great deal!