Chicken, Broccoli and Cauliflower Bake

My mom found this recipe in its original form on a blog called Apple of My Eye; we have extensively changed it because it was a very lean, low-fat recipe and in need of some serious flavor boost. I have made it many times and tweak it every time. I love it! It’s homey, comforting and makes you feel like you’re a visitor in Aunt Bee’s kitchen. You can use leftover roasted chicken, grilled chicken or you can poach some chicken breasts; it is also good with no chicken at all as a side dish or a vegetarian main course.

1 head cauliflower, cut into chunks
1/2 head broccoli, cut into chunks

Preheat the oven to 425º; lay out the veggies in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (you may need 2) and drizzle with EVOO. Salt and pepper them and roast for about 20-25 minutes until nicely browned.

2 T butter
2 T flour
1/2 t garlic salt
1 t onion powder
1 1/3 cup milk (I prefer to use whole milk)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded cheddar
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 chicken breasts, poached and cubed
French Onion pieces for topping

Melt the butter and add the flour; cook over medium heat until fragrant and light brown. Add the garlic salt and onion powder followed by the milk; whisk constantly until it starts to thicken. Add the cream cheese and cheddar cheese and stir until all the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth. Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl (except for the french onion pieces); taste and adjust seasonings if need be. Pour into a greased casserole dish and bake at 375º for about 40 minutes. Check to make sure it’s bubbling and the top is browned. Cover loosely with foil if the onion pieces are browning too fast and the casserole is not yet bubbling.

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