Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Whenever I’m looking for a hearty casserole my whole family will love, I look no further than A Cook’s Quest. I’ve never made one of Jenn’s recipes and not loved it (minus chef malfunctions, ie. burning a wouldhavebeen delicious cream sauce!). Jenn & I share a very similar love of food. This recipe also did not disappoint!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Recipe Source: Modified slightly from My Kitchen Cafe

4 slices white bread, torn into quarters (I used some leftover french bread about 1/3 of a loaf)
2 tablespoons butter, melted

3 pounds russet potatoes (about 4-5 medium), peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 medium garlic cloves, finely minced
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
3/4 cup heavy cream or milk
8 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded, about 2 cups
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound cooked chicken diced
9 ounces ham, diced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

For the topping, process the bread and butter in a food processor until coarsely ground. Set aside.

For the filling, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, making sure the oven rack is in the middle. Place the potatoes, 6 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are partially cooked, about 2 minutes (don’t overcook because they will continue to cook in the oven!). Carefully drain potatoes, or remove them with a slotted spoon, and transfer them to a bowl. Set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until the onions are softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute (this helps cook out the flour taste in the roux). Slowly whisk in the chicken broth or water and the cream or milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking often, until slightly thickened (if using milk instead of cream, you may have to cook longer for it to thicken up a bit). Off the heat, whisk in the Swiss cheese, Dijon, and cayenne pepper until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside until ready to use.

Toss the potatoes, chicken and ham with the sauce and spread into the bottom of a lightly greased 9X13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle with the bread crumb topping. Bake until the casserole is bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes (add about 5-7 additional minutes onto the baking time if baking it after it has chilled in the refrigerator for more than a couple of hours). Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

As a family of five, we got two full dinners, and three lunch portions for me!

Total Cost $5.99
Thyme, Mustard, Seasonings-approx $.15

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