Crunchy Chicken Casserole – Dana Shortt Gourmet

Crunchy Chicken Casserole

Ingredients

for Casserole

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups sliced celery
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¾ cups milk
  • 2 cups COOKED chicken, cubed or shredded
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I like to use an “old” cheddar)

for Topping

  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup slivered (not sliced, if possible), toasted almonds*

*To toast almonds, Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread nuts in one layer on ungreased shallow baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden.

Method

for Topping

  1. Combine flour and salt. Cut in butter.
  2. Add cheese and almonds. Set aside.

for Casserole

  1. Melt butter in a frying pan set over medium heat. Add celery and saute, stirring occasionally, for about 5-6 minutes or until softened.
  2. Add flour and salt (and pepper if desired). Cook for about 1 minute. Add in milk, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened (this will take a few minutes).
  3. Stir in chicken and cheese and turn into a greased 6-cup casserole dish. Sprinkle with topping and bake at 400 F for 25 minutes.

Notes

Don’t throw away the leaves of the celery after using the stalks in this recipe! The leaves are delicious thrown into a mixed green salad for a pop of fresh flavor, or substitute them for cilantro in recipes if you aren’t a fan of cilantro. Chopped celery leaves are also delicious in chicken and/or egg salad as well.

This recipe was first published in February 2011 Newsletter by Dana