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  • Writer's pictureTina

Foodie Friday: Chicken and Cornbread Casserole




Welcome to Foodie Friday, dear reader. With the fall weather setting in, I find myself turning toward my favorite cozy recipes that I so enjoy. Fall and winter meals are my absolute favorite to prepare. This week, I prepared a warm, delicious and convenient casserole that everyone enjoyed. Often, the need for quick and convenient meals takes precedence over being made from scratch. With a bit of preparation and planning, we can create warm, nourishing, good-for-you meals that aren’t a significant time suck.


Weeknights are busy here at the farm. Our weeknights are pretty busy between nightly homework, farm chores, Taekwondo, and working in the soap studio. Like many families, we juggle our time, divide duties, and often rush from one activity to the next. Not only do I struggle with ensuring everyone is fed, but I struggle to get us all seated at the dinner table together. Sit-down dinners are the rule, not the exception. For these forty minutes or so, we get to connect with each other, laugh, and discuss our plans and the events of the day. I don’t have many rules, but sitting down to dinner together is one I don’t allow a lot of flexibility.


We don’t have a set dinner time because we never know what will get thrown our way. I wish I could say dinner will be at 6:00 every night, but unfortunately, a busy schedule often dictates when we sit down to eat. I have found the key to getting my family around the table at once is often the result of an easy, simple recipe. Not only does it have to be easy, but it also has to be delicious.


The Bean is not what I consider “a good eater.” She is picky, reluctant to try new things, and has somewhat unusual rules for her food. For example, she won’t combine meat and dairy. There is no cheese on her cheeseburger. There is no cheese on her tacos, eggs, or casseroles. She despises all vegetables except pickled beets and green beans. Her food cannot touch each other on her plate. She even goes so far as to have multiple small plates instead of one dinner plate. Sigh, she is also a food sniffer. Like most of the Tonkins before her, she too has to sniff everything before eating it. When she finds something she likes, I have to be careful not to make it too often, or she tires of it and doesn’t like it anymore. When it comes to food, she is a bit of a pickle.


One thing The Bean does like is cornbread. Not just any old cornbread; it has to be Krustez brand Honey Cornbread. I have tried making homemade honey cornbread, but it was declared “gross.” I have also tried to make chicken pot pie a scrumptious meal, but The Bean hates the crust. She will eat the chicken and gravy, leaving the crust on her plate or sneaking it to a Chubby dog hiding under the table. More often than not, the vegetables are pushed into a sad pile at the edge of her plate, isolated and avoiding contamination of the rest of her meal.


Rather than waste ingredients, I combined everything The Bean likes into one delicious and convenient recipe. Thus, chicken cornbread casserole came into being. I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious meal that comes together in under an hour.


Chicken Cornbread Casserole


Ingredients:


Three boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into cubes OR 2 cups of cooked rotisserie chicken for the ultimate convenience.


1/4 cup diced onions


1/3 cup butter


One bag of frozen mixed vegetables


1/3 cup flour


2/3 cup milk


1 1/4 cup chicken broth


Salt and pepper to taste


One box of Krustez brand honey cornbread mix prepared according to package directions on the box but not baked.


Directions:


Boil chicken breasts until cooked and no longer pink. Remove from water and set aside on a plate to cool.


While the chicken is boiling, prepare the cornbread mix and set aside.


In the same pot the chicken was cooked in, melt the butter and cook the onion until soft, five minutes or so.


Add the bag of frozen vegetables to the butter and onion. Cook until no longer frozen, approximately ten minutes.


Add the flour and stir.


Next, add the chicken broth a little at a time to avoid lumps.


Once the broth is added and the mixture is smooth, add the milk and stir thoroughly. Cook the mixture until thickened and bubbling.


Cut chicken into bite-size pieces and add to the vegetable mixture. Mix thoroughly.

Add mixture to a 9 x 13 baking dish prepared with non-stick cooking spray. Spread evenly.


Top the chicken and vegetable mixture with the prepared cornbread batter. Spread evenly to cover the chicken and vegetable mixture.


Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for thirty minutes or until a knife inserted into the cornbread comes out clean.


Serve hot with a salad and pickled beets on the side.


Again, dear reader, it is not gourmet but warm, nourishing comfort food. Even better, it is simple, convenient, and delicious.


I hope you enjoy this easy weeknight casserole. It’s a wonderful way to end a chilly autumn week. As always, stay safe, be smart, enjoy the recipe, and keep washing your hands.

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