Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole


Casserole. There I said it. I've always had a hard time with casseroles which is why I rarely make them. We've all had our fair share of bad casseroles, I know you know what I'm talking about. The kind where it seems like someone just threw whatever random leftovers they had sitting in the back of their refrigerator into one dish to create who knows what. I think those bad casseroles have given a bad rap to all casseroles. I wanted to call this Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake but that just sounds silly so I just need to overcome my fear of casseroles and call it what it is. My mom did make one casserole I often crave, it's a Chicken Broccoli Rice casserole, I will have to post it in the future. 
This Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole is a casserole to remember. I love the combination of flavors in chicken cordon bleu, but really who wants to spend all that time pounding, layering and rolling chicken? That's why I decided to create this dish. You simply layer everything in one baking dash toss it in the oven and BAM! =) This dish gives a new meaning to the word casserole. Try it and you'll know what I mean. This isn't your great aunt Sally's modge podge, miss match, what in the word is that casserole. This is a flavorful, well blended, fancy casserole (because you know how I like to keep things fancy =).  I hope this becomes a favorite in your home as I know it's going to be in mine. Enjoy!

Cheesy, perfectly golden breadcrumb goodness...


Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
Yields about 6 servings

Ingredients:
1 3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cooked and diced
8 oz ham, finely chopped*
3 oz freshly, finely grated Swiss cheese (3/4 cup)
1 oz freshly, finely grated Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup)
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sauce:
1 3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice, preferably freshly squeezed
1 tsp prepared yellow mustard (if you like Dijon mustard you can use that instead)
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt, and then to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place diced chicken in an even layer in a buttered 11x7 baking dish, set aside. To prepare sauce: in a mixing bowl (I just mixed it all in the liquid measuring cup after measuring the milk out), whisk together milk, lemon juice, prepared yellow mustard, onion powder, 1/2 tsp dried parsley, dried thyme, salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and garlic powder. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, once melted whisk in flour and cook stirring constantly for 1 minute. While whisking, pour in milk mixture, then cook stirring constantly until mixture just begins to gently boil and has thickened. Remove from heat, stir in sour cream. Pour mixture evenly over chicken and use a spatula to spread into an even layer. Sprinkle ham over sauce then sprinkle grated Swiss and Parmesan cheese evenly over ham layer. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together Panko bread crumbs, 1/2 tsp dried parsley, 1/8 tsp pepper then pour in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and toss bread crumb mixture to evenly coat. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly over cheese layer. Bake casserole in preheated oven for 30 minutes until golden brown on top. Serve warm. 

*I used left over spiral sliced ham and I diced it into chunks then tossed them in the food processor and chopped them for about 10 seconds to get really small pieces. Basically any good quality ham would work as long as it's honey or smoked ham.

Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

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