Being from the south, I'm no stranger to casseroles. And there's no time like the winter time to combine all of your dinner ingredients into one big dish, throw in some cream and cheese, and bake up into a delicious and comforting meal.
I've been making a version of this hashbrown casserole for years, this version being a little more gourmet...well, at least subbing the canned cream of mushroom soup for a homemade cream of chicken with sautéed mushrooms.
Other than that, it's really very basic, which translates to easy and on your dinner table lickety split.
Now that's my kind of dinner!
Southern Hashbrown and Chicken Casserole
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small sweet onion, diced
10 oz sliced mushrooms (any type, I used cremini)
30 oz bag frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a heavy bottomed skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and continue to whisk for 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly add chicken broth. Simmer over low heat until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste.
In a separate skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to sauté until mushrooms are cooked through and vegetables are starting to brown, about 5-8 minutes longer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
In a very large bowl, combine hashbrowns, chicken, and sour cream. Add sautéed vegetables. Pour in cream of chicken and stir to evenly coat. Fold in 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese. Add 1 teaspoon Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Scoop mixture into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and continue to bake for 15-20 more minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.