Sometimes kitchen cupboard meals work out VERY well.
Well. I finally needed to make dinner. So took out a packet of chicken from the freezer, and imagined I would make some kind of “casserole” or “bake” when I got home from work. I also wanted to use up some stale sourdough bread I had, so I cubed in and threw it in a bowl uncovered over night to dry it out. I assumed I’d be using it as some sort of topping for that “casserole”.
This is generally how I cook most dinners. I don’t like shopping for specific meals, as it ends up being much more expensive doing it that way. So I buy a bunch of ingredients, majority of what’s on sale and work from there.
So when I got home from work, I got busy:
This is what I pulled out of the fridge. (I didn't use the pepper, I'm so sorry litte guy...) Mushrooms, can o mushroom soup, onion, broccoli, very sharp white cheddar and boneless skinless chicken thighs!
Begin by frying the chicken up, then onion and mushroom. I roughly chopped the mushrooms, they're going to shrink down anyways so they don't mind. Season with salt and pepper.
Get it all nice and caramelized like this!
I made tiny little florets of broccoli. If you need a size comparison just hold it up to your giant mural of a dinosaur on the wall. Here is mine as an example.
Add all of the broccoli and cook for a minute or two. You don't have to worry about cooking it entirely through (but you can if you want!) It'll finish cooking when we pop this puppy in the oven.
Get yeself some chicken stock, and add about 1/8 of a cup to the pan to deglaze any stray brown bits.
*scrape scrape scrape* Turn off heat and set aside.
This is where I remembered I had pasta in the cupboard and put on a pot of salted water to boil!
When the water boils. Make this much pasta. 😉
In another pan (I guess I could've used a pot for this.. hindsight is 20/20.) Add the can of condensed mushroom soup, and less than half the can filled with water to thin it.
This much cheddar! This stuff is AMAZING.
Er.."grated". I can't be bothered with these types of things. Nor can I be bothered to wash the cheese grater.
Add cheese and melt over low heat. Please do not boil. She will curdle, and I don't care what miss muffet did. It's not appealing. Set aside!
I considered not doing this, as I was pretty hungry and grumpy by now. But I didn't want to waste my pretty little bread cubes. So in another pot (or as you can see I used the dirty pasta pot) melt two-ish tablespoons of butter.
Add any herbs or flavourings you'd like to impart on your bread cubes. I was going for a stuffing flavour. So I added some sage, oregano and this Nomu poultry spice mix I had on hand. Add about 1/4 cup of chicken stock to this.
Add your bread cubes in and mix! I added fresh parsley to this last second. I'm crazy like that. Then remove from heat and get ready to assemble. Also, maybe preheat your oven to 375.
In a nice heavy casserole dish, add all of your ingredients less the bread cubes, and mix with the cheese sauce.
You can 100% eat it at this point. But we like to go the extra step.
Top with bread cubes and put in oven for 10-15 minutes, until cubes are browned on top. I put mine in for a few minutes, was impatient and turned on the broiler. The pasta was cooked enough. It was fine, okay?
Weep softly as your remove this glorious work of art from the oven. Give it a last moment to rest (cool down as we call it) before it is devoured and never seen again.
Here's a close up. Mmmm!
And try to save some for lunch tomorrow.