This is for supper tonight because he calls me “Honeypot” when I pull it out of the oven. This is for supper tonight because it’s September and this gratin (ne, “casserole”) feels like a warm, hearty back-to-school dinner. This is for supper tonight because we finally had to do an update on a Junior League classic. (The difference? No mayo, no Ritz crackers and, of course, Chef insisted that we make our own chicken stock.) This is for supper tonight because it’ll stretch ’til Wednesday night. That means I can write a little prose and get my nails painted fire-engine red…
Supper Tonight: Cheesy Broccoli, Chicken, Rice Gratin w Crisp Almonds
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup broccoli stems, peeled (with a potato peeler) and cut into small dice
- Kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ cups long grain rice
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 heads broccoli, cut into florets* (about 3 cups)
- 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, roasted, skin and bone removed, cut into chunks
- 2½ cups sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- Optional topping- Finely grated pecorino romano
- *A "floret" is fancy speak for "bite-sized piece of broccoli."
- Preheat oven to 325˚.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepot and add the onions and chopped broccoli stems; sweat onions and sautee stems until tender. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add the rice and saute briefly to coat with the fat. Add the stock, stir thoroughly and bring the mixture to a simmer. DO NOT stir again. Cover with a lid and place in oven for 12 minutes. Remove the rice from the oven and turn out into a gratin or casserole dish. Spread into the thinnest layer possible and cool completely.
- Boil the broccoli until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain. Spread onto a paper towel-lined plate to draw out all moisture. Set aside.
- In a granddaddy-sized mixing bowl (read: BIG!), whisk together the milk and mustard. Add the chicken, rice and cheese. Mix well, season to taste and return to the gratin dish. Spread into an even layer in the dish, grate ⅓-1/2 cup pecorino-romano on top and then cover with the almonds.
- Bake in a preheated 425˚ oven for 7-10 until well browned on top and bubbling. Serve immediately.
cheese cheddar broccoli chicken rice gratin casserole bake cheesy
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