A Taste of Italy
This dish may seem like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. Besides, you will love the beautiful blend of flavors. This recipe serves 2, maybe 3, people. Double it and freeze for a later meal. Serve with a Caesar salad and a crisp white wine.
Chicken Casserole with Noodles and Mushrooms
2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1 medium onion, peeled and halved
1 whole clove
1 stalks celery, including leaves
1 bay leaf
1 medium-sized carrot
5 cups chicken stock
Combine chicken and all remaining ingredients in a 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce temperature to low and simmer, partially covered for 15 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken is tender but not falling apart.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve set over a bowl. Press down hard on the vegetables with the back of a spoon, then discard them. Skim and discard the greases that rises to the top. Reserve the stock to use later in this recipe.
Noodles and Mushrooms
½ pound broad egg noodles
6 tbsp. butter
½ pound baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced
Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a 4-quart saucepan. Drop in noodles and boil for about 9 minutes or until just barely tender. Be careful not to overcook them.
Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
Melt butter in a small skillet set on moderate heat. Stir in mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, or until barely tender. Set aside off the heat.
6 tbsp. butter
6 tbsp. flour
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup dry sherry
2 egg yolks
½ tsp. Frank’s Hot Sauce
Melt butter in a 2-quart saucepan set on moderate heat. Whisk in the flour and mix thoroughly. Gradually add 2 cups of reserved stock, cream, and sherry. Cook over high heat until this blend comes to a boil. Reduce heat to moderate.
Whisk the yolks in a small bowl. Slowly add about ½ cup of the hot liquid while whisking constantly. Now stir this egg mixture into the saucepan. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, then stir in hot sauce. Remove pan from heat.
To Assemble and Bake
2 tbsp. butter, softened
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Coat the bottom and sides of a 8-by-10-by-2-inch baking dish, or a dish as close as you can get, with the butter. Pour in 1 cup of sauce and scatter half the noodles over the bottom. Spread on half the mushrooms, then cover with half the chicken. Repeat the layers and top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle cheese over the dish.
Bake for 30 minutes.
This recipe freezes beautifully. Thaw and add a little cream to the leftover. Bake for 15-25 minutes at 325°F.
May you enjoy all the days of your life around a well laden table!