Chicken and Spinach Casserole
2 cups torn bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Oil (whatever you like to use for sauteing)
4 cups packed spinach
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove (or 2 or 3) minced
1/4 cup white wine (or chicken broth)
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup shredded or chopped pre-cooked chicken
Preheat oven to 450' F Lightly spray or grease a 2 quart casserole dish
In a medium bowl, drizzle the bread with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with a bit of salt and set aside.In a medium sized skillet, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil over medium high heat. Add the spinach, season with a bit of salt.
Cook, while stirring until it's all wilted (and it looks like you hardly have anything left). Drain the spinach in a colander until it's cool enough to touch. Squeeze all the water out.
Then give what's left of your spinach a rough chop.
Clean out the pan you used for cooking the spinach and saute the onions and garlic until tender. (Actually, you can do this while the spinach is cooling off in the colander.)
Add the white wine (or chicken stock) to the onions and continue cooking until almost all of it has evaporated. This will take about 5 minutes.
Add the flour to the onion mixture and cook while stirring for 30 seconds.
Gradually whisk in the half and half (or milk if you're slimming things down). Squeeze in a bit of fresh lemon juice (it says 1/2 teaspoon...but honesly....it can handle a bit more than that....maybe a teaspoon or two). Bring the mixture to a boil.
Remove from heat and stir in your chopped spinach and chicken.
Season with salt and pepper. Pour into your prepared casserole dish. Top with the bread crumbs that you set aside earlier.
Bake until the bread is golden brown and the mixture is nice and bubble....about 10 minutes or so
Pairs Well With
One of the things I loved about this recipe is the fact that it didn't use a can of creamy soup for the sauce base. I found the recipe in my Everyday Food magazine and am so glad I did.