I was contemplating what to post for my very first main dish here at “Norine’s Nest”? Immediately I thought of the meal that captured my hubs heart long before I did! (Truth be told, I’m pretty sure this sealed the deal of heart capturing! Yeah, it’s THAT good!) Chicken broccoli casserole is just one of those super wonderful comfort foods. Right up there with mac-n-cheese (The real kind!) and fresh hot homemade bread with melted butter! The flavors in this dish are out of this world! My mom made this casserole for our family as I was growing up, and I made it for my birds. I still make it! Even with all the little birds gone!
This really is an easy dish to put together. I like to precook one whole chicken early in the week. I usually buy mine at Costco but, any whole chicken will do. I place the chicken into a large stock pot and boil it, until it is falling apart. Let it cool completely. Once cool, I debone the chicken, bag up the meat and refrigerate it, then it’s on hand when I need it. One plus is you have a pot full of amazing chicken stock that you can freeze to use later. The other is that the biggest part of this casserole is done! You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts that you have cooked and cut up, or the meat from a rotisserie chicken will work as well. You just need three cups of chicken meat.
One of the things I love most about this casserole is the Broccoli! I’m a HUGE Broccoli fan! I recently ran across a fantastic article by Helen Nichols from www.well-beingsecrets.com on all the benefits of broccoli. I think you’ll find it a really interesting article and be fascinated to learn how many health benefits there are in Broccoli. If you’d like to read the article yourself you can click right HERE. I think we all get so busy in our lives that we sometimes don’t stop to think about all the health benefits contained in our foods. We hear a lot about the “BAD” things in our foods, but let’s take a second and pat ourselves on the back when we make a casserole like this that contains such a healthy “power” food like this one does! Let’s have Three Cheers for Broccoli!
Doesn’t that look yummy! A layer of broccoli, then chicken,cream sauce, cheddar cheese and topped off with buttery toasted bread crumbs! The flavor combinations in this casserole just blend together so beautifully. The nice thing about this dish is that most of the ingredients are things found in everyone’s pantry or freezer. I know there are some non-casserole-loving folks out there. Gasp! (Say it isn’t so!) I grew up on casseroles! With a family of six and a tight budget, casseroles were a main stay in our house. Thankfully mom could stretch one chicken to feed all six of us!
I serve this casserole over steamed rice. You don’t have to. It’s perfect just the way it is! I usually make a green salad to serve along side it. The casserole is so rich with ingredients that it’s a meal by itself. I’ve shared this recipe many times over the years. Its become everyone’s favorite! I hope your family will love it as much as our family does! Please let me know if you try it and if your family enjoyed it in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you.