Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cheesy Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole with Chicken

In this casserole, cauliflower is coated with a cheesy broccoli mixture. The addition of shredded chicken makes this amazing dish a one-pot meal.
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This recipe was inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe I found while perusing Pinterest.
I wouldn't normally have time for such leisurely activities, however, I was on a weekend trip with my hubby, so my leisure knew no bounds.
Apparently, neither did my gluttony. But I digress...

I had never seen this preparation with a vegetable dish before, so I was instantly intrigued.
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In his recipe, Jamie actually cooked the broccoli in a béchamel sauce and whizzed it all up with an immersion blender before adding the cheese. He then poured this glorious cheesy mixture over raw cauliflower florets and baked it up in the oven.
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Since I'm a big fan of cheesy broccoli, I knew I had to make this stat.
Since I'm an even bigger fan of one pot meals, I threw in some shredded chicken and called it a day!
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Cheesy Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole with Chicken
serves 4

2 cloves garlic, minced
5 Tbsp butter
5 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
8 oz broccoli florets
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
16 oz cauliflower florets
1 cup shredded chicken
½ cup bread crumbs
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, minced
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375º F.

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for one minute. Sprinkle in flour and whisk until starting to brown, about two minutes. Slowly drizzle in milk, while whisking. Continue cooking and whisking until mixture begins to thicken. Add broccoli florets and toss to coat. Turn heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for 20 minutes or until broccoli is tender. Remove lid and mash broccoli into sauce. Add half of the cheese and stir until melted.
Stir in cauliflower and chicken. Season to perfection with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs and thyme leaves. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly over broccoli mixture and drizzle on some olive oil.
Cook in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden brown.
Spoon onto individual plates to serve.


*Recipe Notes*
You can add as much or as little chicken as you'd like or leave it out completely
Substitute whatever vegetables you have on hand. I think zucchini would be delish in the sauce as well.
Same goes for the cheese...use whatever you have in your fridge!