Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chicken Noodle Casserole

So we haven't had a casserole in forever, so thought I would make this up tonight!  It was really good - BUT it was really putsy....Brody was getting antsy by the end of it -- haha!!  So if you have some time on your hands - or a helper - try it!

OBB Cookbook
12 oz wide egg noodles (7 3/4 cups)
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
1 small onion, chopped fine
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise and trimmed
4 ounces deli American cheese, chopped coarse
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed and patted dry
25 Ritz Crackers, crushed coarse
Bring 4 quarts water to boil in a Dutch oven.  Add noodles and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until just al dente, about 3 minutes.  Drain noodles and rinse with cold water until cool.  Drain again and set aside.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in now-empty pot over medium-high heat.  Add bell pepper and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to bowl; set aside.  In now-empty pot, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat.  Add flour and cook, whisking constantly for 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in half and half, a little at at time as you whisk to incorporate flour mixture and smooth out lumps.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Add chicken and cook until no longer pink, 8-10 minutes.  (Chicken won’t be cooked all the way through, that’s okay)
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.  Remove pot from heat, transfer chicken to plate, and shred into bite-size pieces  once cool enough to handle.  Whisk American and cheddar cheeses into sauce until smooth. Stir shredded chicken, noodles, bell pepper mixture, peas, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 1/4 teaspoons pepper into cheese sauce.
Transfer mixture to 13×9 inch baking dish and top with crackers.  Bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 15 minutes.  Let casserole cool on wire rack for about 15 minutes.

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