Written with love, by Sarah-Elizabeth Labelle
I can tell you 101 ways to burn an egg, over boil Kraft Dinner or to turn chicken into rubber. But that was several years, two bad burns and countless fire alarms ago. Cooking was an uphill learning curve for me; in fact, my fiancé cooked every meal for a year or more while I was in school. It wasn’t until he had to go away for business that I realized how very little I knew about turning my stove on.
From then until now I’ve learned my way around the kitchen and can’t wait to share with you what my trial-and-errors (and successes) have been. From the nights where you have to cram dinner in between a shift, and picking your wedding colours or having friends over for a more elaborate meal – I’ve dug deep into my recipe books to bring to you dishes inspired by the greats, with a down to earth, homey feel. So roll up your sleeves, and let’s get cooking!
Cheesy Chicken Casserole OR Everything-but-the-Kitchen-Sink-Casserole
This recipe is easy, relatively fast and will give you enough for lunch the next day! Use anything and everything that you feel tastes good together. This is one of the best combinations of veggies that I’ve found, but feel free to spice it up and make your additions! The cream can be substituted for skim milk and pasta can be changed out for gluten free pasta or brown pasta.
· Red peppers
· Clove of garlic
· Three to five chicken breasts
· Block of cheese (any variety works)
· 75mls of whipped cream
· 1 cup of chicken stock
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes
1. Start by preheating your oven to 350F
2. Boil water for the pasta which you will be precooking
3. Dice up your red peppers, onions, asparagus, garlic and broccoli
4. Cut up your chicken into bite size chunks. Not too big as they won’t cook through properly.
5. Pour the pasta of your choice (bigger pasta tends to work better with this recipe) into the pot and leave at a rolling boil for roughly 7 minutes, just enough to be cooked through.
6. Start to fry your chicken in a pan, just enough that the chicken turns white. At this point I add in basil, rosemary and thyme just to give the chicken some extra flavouring. (If you want to add bacon into the casserole now is the time to fry some up! Remember to let it cool on the plate before chopping it up and adding it to the dish.)
7. As your chicken is frying start boiling your chicken stock. It just needs to be warmed up enough to provide moisture to the chicken while it’s baking in the casserole.
8. Once the pasta and chicken (and bacon) have been precooked, mix everything into a casserole dish thoroughly so all the colours and flavours mix.
9. Next add your chicken stock and 75mls of cream (or milk) and grate as much cheese as you want for the topping!
10. Pop your casserole into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on the top!
11. Serve with a delicious glass of wine – I found that Jackson Triggs, Merlot works especially well with this dish.