Creamy Chicken and Cornbread Casserole

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When I made this casserole for our big Sunday supper, Daniel smiled into his plate. He chewed and mmm’ed and then looked up at me, and with the sunniest grin, said, “I want you to make this for our children.”

Me: …[pause]…Ooo…Here’s the only snafu: You know that we don’t have any of those yet?

 

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Daniel: Ha, yes, but I was just thinking out loud. It tastes good…and it’s so good for you…and it’s got corn…kids would love this kind of thing.

Me: …You also just found out that we’re not yet married?

Daniel: Uh huh.

 

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Me: …And that by the time I have children I’ll be making meals exclusively in the shape of Muppet Babies?

Daniel: Yup.

 

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Me:…And that I’m going to be really sleepy by then?

Daniel: When you’re thirty?

Me: Uh huh.

Daniel: Yeah.

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Me: …And you also know that I’m going to teach my someday children to cook by the time they’re 18 months old?

Daniel: I figured.

Me: …be-because…I really believe in independence. And self sufficiency.

Daniel: Makes sense.

 

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Me: But I guess I can make this sometimes. Because, like, some kids don’t like peanut butter and fluff sandwiches as much as I’d like them to. Not all the time, anyhow. And remember what I said about being sleepy?

Daniel: I know.

Me: But our kids will, right? They’ll like fluff?

Daniel: How could they not?

Me: Good point. You know I’m a worrier.

[chew, chew, chew]

Me: And…I mean…can we teach them how to paint my nails and toes? Like, really good?

Daniel: [nods]

 

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Me: And clean the tile in the shower? Because I really don’t like that.

Daniel: Sure.

Me: Oh! And do you think they’ll watch The View with me? Because sometimes you forget?

Daniel: Well, I don’t know if The View will still be on then…

Me: Pffft wha-?! How could you say that?!

Daniel: No, I mean, it probably will still be on. It’s just…you know how TV goes…it’s tough to tell how long shows will last.

Me: That show will last forever.

Daniel: No, you’re right. I’m sure it will.

Me: No, like for-ev-er. I don’t even want to think about it being over. Can’t. Won’t. Will not. Nope.

Daniel: Kiddo, don’t worry about it. And yes, kids will love to watch The View with you. I’ll teach them explicitly how to DVR it if they have to do things like…oh, I don’t know, say, go to school. And how to fix you an iced pomegranate spritzer in the middle of the night. Everything will be great.

Me: Okay.

Daniel: Good. [smile] Really, I just love this dinner. Thanks for making it.

Me: Uh huh.

Daniel: You like it too? It has cornbread and chicken and gravy- all things you love.

….

….

Me: I just can’t believe you would say that about The View. You know how much I love Barbara.

[Daniel exits stage left]

 

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This is lovely.

Tender chunks of chicken, sweet softened carrots, celery, onion, and corn, swimming in a rich, creamy gravy, and nestled under a blanket of sweet, gritty cornbread. The crumbly topping serving as the perfect sponge for all that sauce. Comfort.

Creamy Chicken and Cornbread Casserole

Yield: 5 Servings

Calories per serving: 450

Fat per serving: 16g

Ingredients

    Filling:
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion , chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sweet corn
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons ground thyme
  • 2 teaspoons ground sage
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Crust:
  • ¾ cup white or yellow cornmeal
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoons canola oil

Instructions

  1. Make filling: Place the chicken breasts in a large saucepan and fill with enough cool water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for about 15 minutes (check them after 10), until the chicken is completely opaque and cooked through. The thickest part on the breast should register 165 degrees F on a meat thermometer. Drain and transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let cool before chopping into 1-inch chunks.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch baking dish (or any casserole dish of a similar size) generously with cooking spray.
  3. In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and corn, and cook for about until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and stir until it coats the vegetables, about 30 seconds. Slowly stir in the chicken stock, stirring well so that the flour begins to de-clump and thicken the stock. Cook the mixture over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 4 minutes. Stir in cooked chicken, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture into your prepared dish and spread evenly.
  4. Make the crust: In a large bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, egg, and canola oil until smooth. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Spoon the batter evenly over the filling, smoothing the top. Bake until the top is puffed and golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool for at 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

Nutrition Information: Calories 450, Fat 16g, Carb 50g, Fiber 5g, Sugars 5g, Protein 22g

http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/2011/04/11/creamy-chicken-and-cornbread-casserole/

Comments

  1. says

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks, and today was the day I could not help but post. This looks amazing! It’s 10:45 at night, and I’m seriously debating making this.

    Oy.

  2. says

    This looks delicious! Reminds me of pot pie and I do love me some pot pie. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I will have to give it a try!

    • says

      Wow, Willard. It’s ibencdirle to read your review of the JAZZ series a decade after it aired, and what seems like a lifetime after I worked on it (you were so kind to make specific mention of me as a part of Ken’s “co.” lol. Thank you!) If you only knew the debates and ruffled feathers that abounded just in the crew of JAZZ because one musician got more onscreen time than another, or whatever the case – production of the series was an dizzyingly emotional time. And just as happened when I found my formerly disdainful self falling in love with Louis Armstrong early on in production, tears came to my eyes tonight as I relived the making of JAZZ through your kind, genuine telling of your recent experience with the series. I’m gratified to know that there are a t least a few people in jazz, especially ones I so respect like you, who appreciate the work my colleagues and I put into JAZZ. You’re right – the series is by no means meant to be definitive. But I can tell you one thing fo’ sho’: that thing was made with much love.

  3. says

    I love the way you write. You honestly give me great ideas every day. Such a funny story. I can’t believe he said that about the View either… but you know, Oprah’s gone after this year. Anything can happen

  4. says

    Obviously I am not from the South because I have never had cornbread before in my life! I really like the sounds of this though. And I would LOVE to be a fly on the wall that can listen to all of the dinnertime conversations you have with Daniel, because you two are hilarious!! In the meantime while you don’t have kids, I suppose you could teach him how to make that dinner instead!

  5. says

    I’m so making this this weekend. (I hate using 2 this’s but really there’s no better way to say that.)
    And thanks once again for the morning laughs, as always!

  6. says

    I love the style of this post! Very creative, I have yet to see one like it. I’ve been reading your blog for weeks now and it is really one of the greats, keep them coming!!

  7. Leanne says

    I already loved your thoughts after reading the posts on weight…. and now I find out we share a love of the view? I can’t even imagine it going off the air. I love it way too much.

  8. says

    Andrea, I actually have video of my then 18 month old daughter, sitting on the kitchen counter with a garbage bowl in front of her, peeling garlic. It’s on VHS so I need to convert it – when I ask her on the video what she is doing, she says “skinnin’ garlic!”

    And now at 19 she can throw a stir fry together faster than anyone – I love her!

  9. says

    Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog today! And also … I made this tonight. And it was AMAZING! After we put the baby girl to bed, my husband and I ate it out on our deck because it was a beautiful day and night in Nashville. I can’t wait to serve it to my daughter tomorrow for lunch. And I can’t wait to try more of your recipes! Thanks lady!

  10. says

    mmmm looks delish. kinda looks like a chicken pot pie? with CORNBREAD!!:D i love how you put the nutrition facts at the bottom too

  11. Sara Faye says

    Tried this tonight with my family and it was a hit! My father and grandfather are super picky but they adored it. I’ve recently started my weight loss endeavor and your stories and writing itself are inspirational and heartfelt. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story.

  12. Maura says

    I made this tonight and it was a huge hit w the littles. I had to double it bc there’s 10 mouths to feed. It was yummy and comforting without feeling bogged down.
    I just found you through Pinterest, and you are my hero. I want to be your BFF.

    Ok, I won’t be creepy anymore, but you’re just so cool!

  13. says

    Made this today: delicious! As I told my Dear Mother, it’s like Sunday dinner in one dish: cornbread, chicken, vegetables. I did use a different approach to poaching the chicken. I replaced the two cups of water with chicken broth. I also added the salt, pepper, thyme and sage at the time I poached the chicken. When the chicken was poached, I used the broth that remained – one cup – and that along with an additional cup of chicken broth to the flour/vegetable mixture. My Dear Mother is looking forward to me making the casserole for my Dear Dad and Dear Brother.

  14. Lisa says

    This looks delicious! I’d like to increase the recipe to be 6 to 8 servings. Do you have any suggestions about the size of the baking dish, cooking time and temperature?

    If anyone has increased or doubled the recipe, I’d like to know what size pan you used, at what temperature, and for how long you cooked it. Any details would help!

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