Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Chicken and Artichoke Casserole and two hours well spent
I know it seems weird to make casseroles in the summertime, but I really wanted to feature my mom's recipes and this is one of my Mom's best. I love her casserole recipes because they actually taste good and require some effort- not just cream of mushroom and lipton soup mix. (Although I have a soft spot in my heart for those, too.) She has absolutely mastered this recipe because she made a lot of changes to the original that I think are definitely for the better. She found it in some Utah cookbook she loves called the Heritage coobook or something? I want to say the Junior League put it out but I'm pretty sure that's wrong. She found this recipe when she was pregnant with my youngest sister Annie. She was looking for recipes that would freeze well so she could have dinners prepared for us and in the freezer after the baby came. Anyway, the recipe I'm going to give you here is not the original but the recipe just as she prepares it.... with a few minor changes that I made myself that don't really change the flavor of the dish.
Chicken and Artichoke Casserole
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 T butter
2 14 oz cans chicken broth
5 chicken breasts
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained
3/4 stick butter
1/3 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/8 cup half and half
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
Saute mushrooms in 2 T butter and set aside. Pour 2 cans chicken broth in large pot and add water to cover chicken breasts. Bring to a boil. When chicken is cooked through, shred with two forks. Remove from broth and save 1 1/8 cups. Cool. Arrange chicken in casserole dish. Top with artichoke hearts (I like to chop them into smaller pieces.) Set aside. Melt 3/4 stick butter, stir in flour, salt and pepper and cook until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually stir in 1 1/8 cup reserved chicken broth and light cream. Cook and stir as mixture boils and thickens. Blend in Parmesan cheese and rosemary. Pour over artichokes. Sprinkle mushrooms over the top. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes and serve over rice. If you have more Parmesan, sprinkle it on top just before baking. This recipe freezes well- just wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze before you bake it.
We took a walk to the Farmer's market on Saturday and I picked up these delicious peaches. I LOVE peaches. So we enjoyed some peach pie with our casserole. (I'll post the recipes later.)
The Pace's drove out from St. Louis to visit for a few days. It's been so nice to have their company! Here we are playing Dr. Mario. Bobby is our reigning champion.
And have you ever played Hand and Foot? I have included a link to this fabulous card game that we are OBSESSED with, but it's really just to give you an idea of what the game is about- there are many different versions out there and well, we think ours is best. The game takes AT LEAST 2 hours, but we feel that it is two hours well spent. My mom thought so, too. She loved this game and we spent hours playing every time we were home visiting. I believe she just played it a couple weeks before she died with Brent and Kristy. Bobby won the game last night and beat Ashley by a measly 35 points.