Monday, May 2, 2022

Joey's Chicken and Greens Casserole

So, here's a question for you:
Are you a "little bit of this, little bit of that," sort of "throw it together" kind of cook?
Or are you a "never make anything without a trusted recipe" kind of cook?
For me, I guess it depends on what I'm making! If I'm baking, yes, definitely follow the recipe.
But usually I'm a "just throw it together" kind of a cook. That's how my Mom always cooked, so I guess I get it from her. In the case of this recipe, it was definitely a throw together dinner, born out of everything I had set aside in the fridge, thinking "I'll use that for something later."
  For Easter, I had made a few quiches, and I had a few different kinds of cheese leftover. So I thought, well, I can always do something with that later.
 I was recently planning to pressure can some collard greens, but I wasn't sure how many jars I'd have. After I finished all of my canning, I had a few handfuls of blanched greens leftover. No problem. I can always do something with them later.
 I even had some cut up boneless chicken in the fridge on stand by, just because I like to have a full canner whenever I pressure can. Who knew the greens would go so far?? So I didn't need to add any jars of chicken to the canner. But that's fine. I'm sure I can do something with it later. 
 Do you see where I'm going with this? That's literally how it all fell together. So I dredged the chicken in flour, sauteed it in a pan with some onions and the collards, added a sauce and poured it over rice. Perfect easy weeknight dinner! It'll feed a crowd too. 
 So, the next time you're not sure what to make for dinner? Open up that fridge and look at what you have. I'll just bet you already have the makings of a great dinner!

3-4 cups cooked rice
4-5 bonless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
Flour for dredging
1 bunch of collard greens, rinsed well, cut into ribbons, and blanched for a few minutes
1 onion, diced
2 (10oz) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 soup can of milk
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Heat oven to 350ºF.
In a large casserole dish, spread the cooked rice in an even layer across the bottom.
Toss all the chicken pieces in a little bit of flour until coated, then saute them in a large skillet with a little bit of oil. Just lightly brown the outside, but don't cook the chicken all the way through. Remove chicken pieces and place them over the rice. In the same pan, add the chopped greens with the diced onions, adding a little more oil if needed. Be careful, the green will splatter a little. Saute until the onions are soft. Scatter the onions and greens over the chicken. Whisk together the soup and the milk. Pour over the chicken and greens. Top with each kind of cheese. Bake for about 35 minutes.

Remember, I used literally whatever I had in my fridge, so use this recipe as a guide to springboard into any direction you like, based on whatever you have on hand.
Don't like chicken? Use diced ham. Or turkey. Or pork sausage.
Don't like collards? Use spinach. Or Kale. Or any other veggie you want. 
Don't like cream of mushroom soup? Use any cream soup you like. Or make your own white sauce. 
Don't like Cheddar or Mozzarella? Use Swiss. Or any good melting cheese. 
Don't like rice? Pour the the whole thing over noodles! Or even better, mashed potatoes. 
Want it to be saucier? or cheesier? or meatier? add more of whatever you like!

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