I’ve blogged a recipe for Chicken and Broccoli Bake before, in fact it’s the most popular recipe on the blog, possibly due to the fact that the words “very easy” appear in its title.
You can find that recipe HERE.
However, that recipe uses tinned soup and has been one of my very few (I’m struggling to think of another) exceptions to letting a pre-packaged sauce into my kitchen (pesto or baked beans don’t count, right?).
So I finally decided to try out the real thing this week. I made a mish-mash of the famed Avoca recipe (too fiddly) and the one above (too processed) and here’s what I came up with.
I served it with mashed potatoes and it was very well received, even by the child who was given special dispensation to remove the broccoli bits.
This will freeze well so add it to your batchcooking rota (no, I don’t have one either, but some day).
It’s a great meal to pre-prepare at the weekend or to deliver to someone like a new mum who you might normally give a lasagne.
I think this will be the only version of Chicken and Broccoli Bake made in this house in future.
4 chicken breasts (you could use leftover roast chicken either)
Large head of broccoli
Small tin of sweetcorn
1 chicken stock cube
130g cheddar cheese – grated
50g melted butter
Put the chicken breasts into a saucepan of cold water, bring to the boil and let simmer til cooked- around 20 minutes depending on the size of the chicken breasts. Preheat the oven to 150C.
Next (or while the chicken is on) you need to part cook the broccoli. Wash it and break it into very small florets and then either boil it or steam it (I steam) until it gives a bit but is still a very dark green colour and drain into into very cold water to stop it cooking. If you like your broccoli yellowish green (yuck) you can keep cooking.
Don’t discard the cooking water off the chicken breasts, reserve it. Remove the chicken and bring the water left in the chicken pot back to the boil and dissolve a chicken stock cube in it.
Measure 600ml of the liquid making it up with boiling water if necessary. (or if using leftover chicken just make 600ml stock using 1 stock cube and place in saucepan on the heat).
Add the cream to the stock and bring to the boil.
In a small saucepan melt the 50g butter then add the flour, stir until they are well combined and take off the heat. (This is known as a roux).
Add the roux little by little, to the boiling cream and stock whisking well all the time.
Chop (or tear with two forks) the chicken into bitesized pieces and add the chicken, sweetcorn and broccoli to the dish you’re going to bake it in.
Melt the butter, (I do this in a cup in the microwave) and in a bowl mix the breadcrumbs, cheese and butter together.
Pour the creamy sauce on top of the chicken mix and mix well to distribute the sauce evenly. Next, spread the breadcrumb/cheese mix on top and either put to one side or bake now for about 20 minutes until the crumb is golden.