Roasted Leftover Veggie and Chicken Casserole

I absolutely love this recipe!  This is a generic casserole recipe that can be used no matter what vegetable(s) you’ve got on hand.  This time around, I used onions, asparagus, and broccoli, but feel free to add any and all vegetables that you want to use up before they go bad.  Also, if you’ve got leftover roasted veggies, then this recipe is for you!

Because, the main ingredients are flexible, it’s hard to give specific measurements for things like salt and pepper.  Go with your instincts on this one, and taste as you go!  This kind of organic cooking is what I personally like best and all of my recipes are made this way (except for baking).  A good thing to keep in mind when cooking off the cuff is to season each ingredient individually (not too aggressively), so that way everything has a loud and flavorful voice when the dish is done!

Roasted Leftover Veggie and Chicken Casserole:

Broccoli, Asparagus, and Chicken Casserole

Equipment:

  • Large sheet pan, large and medium (with lid) saucepans, liquid measuring cups, spatula or wooden spoon, tasting spoon, casserole baking dish, knife, cutting board, tongs, plate, cheese grater, oven, stove top

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole chicken legs and thighs, bones in, skins on
  • 3+ Tbsp evoo, divided
  • 2 cups chicken stock, with 1/4 cup set aside
  • 2 cups short-grain brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 stalks of celery (with leaves if possible), cut in half length-wise and then thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 4 cups 2% milk
  • 2 Tbsp AP flour
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • Dash of dried parsley
  • Dash of dried thyme
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (or crumbled crackers)
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • Desired vegetables

Directions:

1)  Preheat your oven to 375 F.  Place chicken legs on the sheet pan and drizzle with evoo.  Sprinkle on a generous pinch of salt and a couple dashes of ground black pepper.  Rub the chicken legs to make sure all sides are well coated. Wash your hands, and bake the chicken for about 40 mins on a middle-upper rack, or until juices run clear.

2)  In the medium saucepan, bring the 1-3/4 cups chicken stock and 2 cups water to a boil.  Add the rice, reduce the heat, and let rice simmer (covered) until all the broth has been absorbed (about 25-30 mins).

3)  Prepare your veggies by cutting them into a little larger than bite-sized pieces and set aside.  Prep your celery, garlic, and onions.  In the large saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp evoo over medium heat and then add the celery, garlic, and onion.  Cook and stir about 1-2 mins to make sure everything is getting warmed and coated in oil.

4) Sprinkle a generous pinch of salt (about 1 tsp) and 4-5 dashes of the black pepper on the aromatics and let them sweat another 2-3 mins until the onions are translucent.  Then, add the basil, thyme, parsley, garlic powder and the last 1/4 cup of chicken stock.  Let simmer together about 5 mins until everything is soft and cooked through.

5) Add the 2 Tbsp of AP flour to the saucepan and stir so that the flour makes a paste and coats the aromatics.  Let the flour cook for 2 mins while stirring continuously, then reduce the heat to low and add the milk.  Slowly bring the milk up to a simmer, careful not to let it boil over.  Once the milk is hot, let the sauce simmer on low heat about 10 mins (If you have leafy leftover veggies, like spinach, you’ll want to add them to the sauce while it simmers).  Taste to make sure all the seasonings are as you like them, and set the sauce aside to thicken.  (Your rice and chicken will likely be done right about now.)

6) Once, the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the oven temp to 350 F.  Using the tongs, set the chicken on a plate to rest.  In the meantime, wash the sheet pan, so you can use it to roast your veggies.  Lay out your veg on the sheet pan and drizzle them with evoo, then sprinkle on a generous pinch of salt and a few dashes of pepper.  Use you hands to toss the veg and make sure everything is well coated.  Bake your veggies for about 30 mins.  If you have lots of veggies, roast in rounds and try to group veggies with similar size and density together (e.g. roast parsnips with carrots and potatoes, broccoli florets with cauliflower, and asparagus with zucchini strips and whole scallions).

7)  While the veggies are cooking, shred the cooked chicken and discard the bones and skins.  Once the veggies are done, mix together the rice, veg, and chicken.  Pour the sauce over top, and give it a good stir to make sure everything is evenly distributed.  Cover with a layer of bread crumbs and the grated Parmesan cheese.  Bake uncovered at 350 F for 30 mins.  Let stand 5 mins before serving.

8)  ENJOY!!

What to drink? Whatever you have on hand!

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