The Experiments: Week 2

quinoa-casserole-4wb

 RECIPE: CREAMY CHICKEN QUINOA AND BROCCOLI CASSEROLE


FOUND ON: pinchofyum.com  PHOTO FROM: PINCH OF YUM

http://pinchofyum.com/creamy-chicken-quinoa-broccoli-casserole

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • ¼ cup cooked, crumbled bacon (optional… sort of)
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning (like Emeril’s Essence or any basic blend you like)
  • ¼ cup shredded Gruyere cheese (any kind will work)
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli florets

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Sauce: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and generously grease a 9×13 baking dish (seriously, be generous because it really really sticks to the sides). Bring the chicken broth and ½ cup milk to a low boil in a saucepan. Whisk the other ½ cup milk with the poultry seasoning and flour; add the mixture to the boiling liquid and whisk until a smooth creamy sauce forms.
  2. Assembly: In a large bowl, mix the sauce from step one, one cup water, quinoa, and bacon and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips and lay the chicken breasts strips over the top of the quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with the seasoning. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  3. Broccoli: While the casserole is in the oven, place the broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute until it turns bright green and then run under cold water. Set aside.
  4. Bake: Remove the casserole from the oven, check the mixture by stirring it around in the pan, and if needed, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to get the right consistency. When the quinoa and chicken are cooked and the sauce is thickened, add the broccoli and a little bit of water (up to one cup) until the consistency is creamy and smooth and you can stir it up easily in the pan. Top with the cheese and bake for 5 minutes, or just long enough to melt the cheese.

 

RIDICULOUS MISHAPS:  Well.  None really. I advise making the bacon ahead of time or you have to wait for it to cool to crumble it.  I did not and found myself working with some pretty hot turkey bacon.

MY RATING: 3 Thumbs Up

 

RATING COMMENTS:  Here is the thing.  Every did eat it.  I can not say they were deligthed about it though.  My oldest, who definatley is the easiest to feed, loved it.  She had it for a snack the next day.  The other two picked around and ate some of eat.  My husband and I both ate it, but found it to be quite bland.  I did use the Guyrere cheese, it was good but did not call for enough in my opinion.

 

RECIPE COMMENTS/CHANGES:  This where I have to come clean about any ways I altred the recipe, right?  First of all, I used turkey bacon.  We try to avoid the “real stuff” around here.  We all like the turkey stuff so why not?, Since  you could make the recipe without bacon, this can not be the reason why it was boring (right?).  I used a chicken seasoning as the recipe called for, but not Emeril’s. Maybe that is the key?  I used MORE than called for but the flavor was just so-so.  I did use wheat flour, but it did not seem to change anything.  I also did not add a whole cup of brocolli water.  My quinoa was done at the 35 minute mark so  I just added the brocolli with a slotted spoon and let some water drip off of it.  If I had added all that water it would have taken forever to get back to the right consistency and I suspect the quinoa would have been total mush.

 

IF I make this again, I will use some more seasoning of some sort.  Maybe even season the chicken directly before adding it.  If you like quiona and brocolli, this could be a good one, but it will take some messing with the flavoring.  IT ALSO NEEDS MORE YUMMY CHEESE ON TOP!  If you are not interested in that type or cheese (or prefer not to spend extra on it), swiss cheese or pretty much any other would work just fine.

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