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This old fashioned casserole is a crowd pleaser. This is great for buffets and freezes well. Remember to allow a full 24 hours for casseroles to thaw in the refrigerator.
OVEN POACHED CHICKEN
- 1 (4 lb) roasting chickens
- 2 cups chicken stock or 2 cups water
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 (12 ounce) package broad egg noodles, 375 g
- 1⁄3 cup butter (divided)
- 1 1⁄2 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped green pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups reserved chicken stock
- 1 cup light cream (10 per cent)
- 1⁄4 cup dry sherry
- 3 cups shredded old cheddar cheese
- 1⁄2 cup sliced black olives
- 1 dash hot pepper sauce
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumb
- 1⁄2 cup toasted almond
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 and use a 13 x 9 inch Baking dish (3 L).
- OVEN POACHED CHICKEN: Place chicken in roasting pan on rack. In a large glass measuring cup, combine chicken stock, wine, bay leaf, tarragon and thyme; pour over chicken. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake for 2 hours or until meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 185°F Cool chicken in broth.
- Remove cooled chicken from broth, reserving broth. Remove all meat from carcass, keeping chicken in large strips. Discard skin and bones. Set chicken meat and stock aside separately.
- TETRAZZINI: In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook noodles until tender but still firm, about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain. Rinse under cold running water. Drain and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter over medium heat; cook onions, garlic, celery and green pepper for 5 minutes or until softened. Transfer to a large bowl. In same saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat; cook mushrooms for 5 minutes or until tender. Add to other vegetables in bowl.
- Melt remaining butter in same saucepan over medium high heat. Add flour; cook, stirring, until flour pulls away from pan. Remove from heat. Gradually whisk in reserved chicken stock. Return to heat. Cook, stirring until sauce is smooth and thickened. Remove from heat. Whisk in cheese, olives, hot pepper sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in noodles, chicken and vegetables. Spoon into prepared baking dish. Serves 8.
- TOPPING: In a small bowl, stir together bread crumbs, almonds and Parmesan. Sprinkle evenly over casserole.
- TO FREEZE: Wrap well with plastic wrap, then heavy foil. Seal, label and date. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- TO SERVE: Thaw in microwave or in refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 350°F Unwrap casserole. Cover with foil. Bake in center of oven for 20 minutes, uncover and bake another 25 minutes or until heated through.
- TIP: If freezing, undercook the pasta just until firm; it will cook further in the juicy sauce upon reheating. If making to serve immediately, cook pasta a little further.
- Breadcrumb toppings become soggy on freezing. To crisp them, be sure to bake uncovered for at least 20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
- Because casseroles dry out when freezing make sure sauces are thin before freezing. They will thicken once they are cooked.
- The Best Freezer Cookbook.