Recipe: Broccoli Casserole

I know, it’s been awhile. This is my first real post in months. All I can say is, life happens. 2013 was a busy year for me. Probably the busiest year of my life. I ended 2012 by finishing my Master’s degree. What followed can only be called the domino effect. Finishing my degree led me to many job interviews and eventually a new (and wonderful) job. In 2013, I spent a lot of time working with my fiancée on our wedding and finally tying the knot. Then, my wife finished her degree and got a new job…in Portland. We spent a week driving across the country. Ever since then we have been adjusting to a new life. If you are reading in Tallahassee, if you want more restaurant reviews, keep reading. I have been visiting FL quite frequently. I still have reviews in FL to post. But, this blog is expanding. We plan on having more adventure, and I want you to come along for the ride.

This brings me to my first new recipe in a long time. This recipe is nothing fancy, but it’s important to me. This is a family staple. This is typically a side dish that we serve at any family event. I associate this dish as a side dish to any major holiday, especially Thanksgiving. Shortly after we moved to Portland, I was craving this dish, but I didn’t want to spend the time to make a Turkey or Brisket to go with it. That’s where my twist to this dish came in. I added chicken to the dish to make it a full meal. No side dish needed.

Normally, my recipes tend to take more time to make because I like to make the entire meal from scratch. When I have time, I make my pasta from scratch. This isn’t necessary for this dish. I made this once making the soup and the biscuit topping from scratch. For whatever reason, it didn’t that much of a difference. I reverted back to making it the way it has always been made in my house.

The best part of this recipe is that it scales easily. This is the easiest dish to make a bigger or smaller portion for. It can be eye balled for the most part how to increase or decrease the ingredient amount. For the purpose of this recipe, it assumes that the dish is being made in a 13×9 casserole dish.

Ingredients:

Bisquick (about 2 Cups)
¼ Cup Milk
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
½ Small Onion
1 Bag Frozen Broccoli
1 Clove of Garlic
Butter (about 3 – 4 Tablespoons)
Chicken (about 1 full sized chicken breast)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Olive Oil (about 2 Teaspoons)
¼ White wine (can easily be replace with water or chicken stock)
½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
Salt
Pepper

Cooking Process

Preparing the Chicken and Onions:

Start by chopping the chicken into small chunks. Likewise, chop the glove of garlic into small chunks. In a skillet, heat over medium with about a Teaspoon of olive oil. Use enough to lightly cover the skillet. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken. Once hot, throw the chicken into the skillet. You want the chicken to develop a slight crust and for the pan to develop bits on the bottom. We are going to deglaze the pan when cooking the onions. In order to accomplish this, do not over mix the chicken in the skillet. Only move the chicken every few minutes. Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the skillet.


Deglaze the pan by pouring in the wine (or water/chicken stock). Move the liquid around the pan to grab all of the bits on the bottom. Throw in the onions and garlic. Once it has stopped bubbling, lower the heat to low and cook the onions and garlic for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will allow the vegetables to absorb all of the flavor and develop a level of natural sweetness. Once cooked and full of color, set aside.

Assembling the Casserole:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In the 13×9 casserole dish, place the broccoli (it can still be frozen, no need to thaw), soup, milk, and cheese. Mix it thoroughly to make sure each bite will have a bit of everything. Once the chicken and onions/garlic have cooled, mix those in as well. Add an additional layer of cheese on top.


In a separate bowl, mix the Bisquick, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and butter by hand. The idea is to break up the butter into smaller pieces and to mix that throughout the Bisquick. Use cold butter for best results. Once the butter and Bisquick have been incorporated together, place this mixture on top of the casserole.

Once it is on top of the casserole, you can add additional Bisquick or butter as needed to properly cover the casserole or keep the butter to Bisquick ratio even.


Baking:

Once the oven is preheated, place the casserole in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes. Place it on the center rack of the oven. Check every 10 to 15 minutes to ensure it is baking evenly. You might need to turn it halfway through baking. It is done when the top is golden brown and possibly bubbling.

Enjoy!