Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Bake

In the days B.C. (Before Children), Joe and I used to eat out quite a lot. We had a lot more disposable income (and a lot more time!) in those days to enjoy a nice meal in a restaurant. One of our favorite places to eat was Cracker Barrel. I realize that makes us very uncool, but there it is.

They have this weekly chicken special on their menu that I used to love. They serve it every Wednesday, so Joe and I used to go there for dinner nearly every Wednesday. The dish contains chicken, broccoli, Ritz crackers, and tons of cheese, and it is so delicious. Even after the boys were born and eating out became nothing but a distant memory (at least temporarily), I never quite forgot about that dish. I always meant to recreate it, but life got in the way, as it does. That is, at least until the day I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest.

I’m happy to report that, in this recipe, I’ve found a more-than-suitable replacement for that dish I used to love so much. In fact, with the tweaks I made, I think this may be even better than Cracker Barrel’s version! You simply can’t go wrong with broccoli, cheddar cheese, and buttery crackers. Everyone in my family absolutely loved this, and I will definitely be making it frequently from now on!

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Bake
adapted from Get Off Your Butt and Bake!

For the chicken:

1 pound broccoli florets
4 medium-sized chicken breasts
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 tube buttery crackers (like Ritz), roughly crushed
1 stick melted butter

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Steam broccoli for about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

3. Place the chicken in a greased 13 × 9-inch pan. Top with the broccoli in an even layer.

4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the flour; cook and stir until bubbly. Add chicken broth, salt and pepper, and milk. Stir well, and continue stirring until sauce has thickened. Turn heat to low and add 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Stir until melted.

5. Pour the sauce over the chicken and broccoli. Top with the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese.

6. Melt the stick of butter and stir in the crushed crackers. Sprinkle over the top of the grated cheese.

7. Bake uncovered for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken, until hot, bubbly, and cooked through.


Deborah said...

Since broccoli is pretty much the only vegetabale that Abbi will eat, I am definitely bookmarking this recipe!

Faith said...

SO making this! thanks for the recipe!