Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
I have a horror of dry chicken breasts, even though I know white meat is healthier for one. So I was happy to find a flavorful, moist casserole that is also easy to make ahead and freeze. I use skim milk and light ham to help reduce calories, but you can use whatever is on hand. From "Once-a-Month Cooking" by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg; I doubled their white sauce ingredients and spinach to make it extra moist.
- 1⁄2 cup scallion, sliced
- 4 tablespoons butter or 4 tablespoons margarine
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups skim milk
- 1 cup cracker crumb
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 8 boneless chicken breast halves, skinned
- 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, cooked according to package directions and well-drained
- 1 cup cooked cubed ham
- In a saucepan, sauté the scallions in butter until tender. Whisk in flour; whisk in milk all at once. Bring to a boil and cook and stir until the sauce is thickened and bubbly.
- Meanwhile, combine the cracker crumbs (breadcrumbs work too in a pinch) and cheese. Dip chicken breast halves in the crumb mixture to coat lightly; retain remaining crumb mixture. (Note: If freezing the meal for later, seal the remaining crumb mixture in a freezer bag).
- Arrange the breast halves in a greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
- Stir the spinach and ham into the white sauce. Spoon the spinach mixture over the chicken. (Can freeze at this point for later; tape the crumb mixture bag to the side. Defrost before baking.).
- Bake, covered, at 350°F for 60 to 75 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with crumbs. Bake 10 minutes more.
This is an excellent way to prepare chicken breast if you want an incredibly moist and juicy meal. Even the kids loved it! I did change a few things to what I had on hand. I used one cup of whole milk and one 10 oz package of spinach but kept the butter the same. I found I had plenty of sauce for my taste this way. I also used dried onion instead of scallions because that is what I had. I also used sea salt and pepper on the chicken before coating in the crumbs. Instead of Parmesan I used a blend of four Italian cheeses including aged provolone, Romano, and assiago.
Been making this for years; Like MommyKat, I also double the sauce. I omit the cracker crumbs entirely, and serve the chicken and sauce over noodles. I typically omit the ham as well, and it's still good. Diane
I served this dish over pasta. The chicken I breaded in Ritz cracker crumb, italian bread crumb, and parmesan cheese mix and it turned out great. I thought the sauce tasted bland. I couldn't believe this recipe didn't call for any spices or seasoning! I eneded up adding salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic. The chicken tasted good, still thought the sauce needed something more though.