My husband who has become my number one supporter in life as well as a great supporter of my blog, suggested a while back that I create more family style casseroles for families who have either very little time to prepare a meal and/or families who are living with a tight grocery budget. He knows that my main aim is to provide families with economical meals but he thought the casserole might be less intimidating for some cooks. I took his advice to heart and began to think about that. There are so many casserole recipes out there already. Everyone has a favorite or two (at least) from their mom or grandmother like a baked ziti or a tuna noodle casserole so coming up with something that someone hasn't done is near impossible.
Just a quick note about the recipe. I used chicken tenders which worked beautifully in the recipe, but feel free to use boneless skinless chicken breasts if those are more economical for you. Secondly I want you to remember about layering in your flavors as the recipe outlines - it's important that you season along the way and also taste at the end and make your own adjustment for more salt or pepper. Also I used a dry measure cup for the veggies.
- 1 pkg. chicken tenders (mine had 7 in the pack)
- 3/4 pkg. broad egg noodles - cooked according to package directions
- 4 tbsp. butter (for a roux) + 1 tbsp. (for searing chicken)
- 4 tbsp. flour (for a roux)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil or canola or vegetable
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup frozen baby peas
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 3/4 cup onion - small dice
- 1/2 cup celery - small dice
- 2 tbsp. half and half or cream
- 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
- 1/4 tsp. dried sage
- salt, black pepper and onion powder to taste
- Begin by getting your water going for your egg noodles. Be sure to salt the water when it comes to a boil and I always add in a tablespoon of oil to the water. I swear that it helps the noodles not to stick!
- Wash your chicken tenders and remove any yellow tendons. Dry with paper towel and season both sides with salt, black pepper and onion powder to taste.
- Get a large skillet hot over medium high heat and add in the one tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil or canola or vegetable oil.
- Place the chicken in the pan and sear on each side until light golden in color - about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove to a waiting plate or cutting board. Let it rest for a bit then cut into bite sized pieces.
- Keep an eye on your noodles. Cook them and drain and have them set and ready.
- To the skillet add in your onion and celery. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Stir and saute over medium low heat until they start to soften a bit. About 2 minutes.
- While the onion and celery are cooking, microwave your broth for 30 seconds to warm it up a bit.
- Add in the remainder of butter and flour. Stir and cook to make a roux. Cook out the flour taste. Takes about a minute or so.
- Then turn the heat back up to medium high and slowly add in your broth and whisk together with the roux. Add in the sage and poultry seasoning and the half and half. Keep cooking and whisking until fully incorporated and the sauce should thicken as it comes to a boil.
- Taste the sauce and adjust for more salt, pepper, sage or poultry seasoning. It's all about flavor and what you like. Turn heat back to medium low.
- Add the frozen vegetables and the chicken to the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Last add in the egg noodles and cook for a couple of minutes to warm up the noodles, taste and see if you need more salt or pepper; then you are ready to serve.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Cost: approximately $9.44, feeding four for $2.38 each, or six for $1.57 each
Let me tell you we loved this Creamy Stove Top Chicken Casserole! You would not believe the heaping helping my husband took and ate every last morsel. I too had quite a large portion and just being the two of us there was still some left over for a warm up meal.