CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken Noodle Hotdish

Most hotdishes or casseroles are perfect for those working folks who don’t have all day to prepare a meal — or those who are just looking for a something that is quick and tasty to put on the table for supper.

As a retiree, I usually have a lot of free time, so it doesn’t matter if it takes an hour or two to put together a meal. But when summer rolls around, Therese and I keep pretty busy with yard work, maintaining two gardens and daily trips to the gym. And in her case, volunteering at the Y Family Center. So our suppers often are the type that take little time to prepare.

We have several go-to meals that can be on the table in less than an hour. Therese makes a great Pad Thai and I have a few hotdish recipes (tuna noodle and Grandma’s) that fit the bill, just to name a few.

I’m always looking for new hotdish recipes. Usually, my first consideration is what leftovers we have in the refrigerator. I opted for the following recipe because we had some cooked pheasant legs and thighs available. (I had cooked them in a pot of water for the broth, with notion of using the meat later in a soup or casserole.)

I’m going to tuck this recipe away. It would be great comfort food on a cold winter day.

Chicken Noodle Hotdish
12 ounces egg noodles, uncooked
4 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 10-ounce cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups frozen peas and carrots or frozen mixed vegetables
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)
Cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch pan with cooking spray. Cook the egg noodles according to package directions. In a large bowl, combine the noodles, chicken, soup, milk, cheese, peas and carrots, garlic powder, onion powder and salt and pepper to taste. Place the noodle mixture in the prepared dish and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 474 calories, 42 grams carbohydrates, 43 grams protein, 13 grams fat (6 grams saturated), 150 milligrams cholesterol, 218 milligrams sodium, 449 milligrams potassium, 1 gram fiber, 3 grams sugar.

Broccoli Salad
1 head broccoli, cut up
1 cup raisins
1 small onion
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons vinegar
12 slices bacon, diced and cooked until crisp (optional)
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Mix first seven ingredients and to top with shredded cheese. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours before serving.

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