You deserve more than the average casserole. You deserve something truly special. So why not go for the gold with the Special Chicken Bake? This features golden, extra-savory, and juicy chicken layered between a creamy, beautifully seasoned sauce and delicately browned, garden-fresh vegetables! A blanket of melty cheese makes the Special Chicken Bake all the more amazing and appetizing! Dinner has never felt more decadent!

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 pounds chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
  • coarse salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, coarsely chopped and rinsed very well
  • 1 celery stalk, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved if large
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 8 slices dense multigrain bread, crusts removed and the slices cut into triangles
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus more, to taste, for garnish
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
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Directions

Step 1 –Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2 –Season the chicken halves with the salt and the pepper.

Step 3 –In a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil.

Step 4 –Add the chicken halves to the hot oil and cook until golden-brown on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes.

Step 5 –Flip and reduce the heat to medium.

Step 6 –Cook until the meat is cooked through with an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 10 minutes.

Step 7 –Transfer the chicken halves to a plate and return the pan with the drippings to the stovetop over medium heat.

Also Read:  Hakka Noodles

Step 8 –Heat the remaining oil in the pan.

Step 9 –Add the leek, the celery, the mushrooms, and the salt to the hot oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are golden-brown and tender, about 8-10 minutes.

Step 10 –Add the flour and cook, while stirring often, until golden, about 2 minutes.

Step 11 –Add the sherry, the stock, the milk, and the bay leaf and cook, while scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned bits, until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Step 12 –Season the mixture with the salt and the pepper.

Step 13 –Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Step 14 –Arrange the bread triangles on the bottom of a 2-quart oval baking dish, overlapping the slices slightly.

Step 15 –Spoon 1/2 of the vegetable-sauce mixture over the bread slices.

Step 16 –Slice the chicken halves crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, arrange the slices over the vegetable-sauce layer.

Step 17 –Top the chicken with any accumulated juices from the plate.

Step 18 –Spread the remaining vegetable-sauce mixture over the chicken layer.

Step 19 –Sprinkle the top of the casserole with 2 tablespoons of the parsley and the parmesan.

Step 20 –Bake until the top is golden-brown and bubbling, about 25-30 minutes.

Step 21 –Let the casserole stand for 15 minutes.

Step 22 –Serve garnished with the extra parsley.