Friday, January 30, 2009
This chicken strata is not a photogenic food. It's one of those casseroles that just look funny. Add the fact that it's evening and all the natural light is gone so I had to take my pictures under the yellow light of the energy-efficient bulbs in the kitchen. But it tastes wonderful, and it was fun to make.
This recipe came from the More-with-Less Cookbook, which is rapidly becoming my go-to book for inexpensive and tasty recipes.
8 slices day-old bread
2 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey (good use of leftovers)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper (optional)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I omitted this; I didn't want the extra calories. It turned out wonderful without it)
3/4 tsp. salt
2 slightly beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups milk (can use powdered)
1 can cream of mushroom soup or cream of chicken soup (or substitute one batch of white sauce made with chicken broth)
Lots of ingredients, but it's not as scary as it looks.
Set aside two slices of bread (homemade is best - I used the bread machine). Cut the remaining six slices into 1-inch cubes. Place half in the bottom of an 8x8-inch baking dish.
In a bowl, combine the chicken, onion, green pepper, celery, mayonnaise (or don't add the mayo, I think it's better without it), salt and pepper. Spoon over bread cubes. Sprinkle remaining bread cubes over chicken mixture.
In a small bowl, combine eggs and milk. Pour over bread cubes and chicken mixture in pan. Cover and chill 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 325. Spoon cream soup on top of casserole. Spread butter on remaining two slices of bread and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Sprinkle buttered cubes on top of soup. Bake at 325 for 50 minutes or until set.
This came out tasting similar to stuffing. The topping was crispy like croutons, and the bottom had the texture of bread pudding or a breakfast casserole - just like you'd expect from a casserole made of bread cubes soaked in egg and milk, go figure. Anyway, it was easy to put together and it tasted great.