My mother had two go-to recipes when I was growing up: chicken tetrazzini and a chicken broccoli bake. I find myself craving this staple of chicken and broccoli at those times when I need a plate of comfort. It’s so delicious, it might make it into your weeknight rotation.
Layers of diced chicken, broccoli, creamy chicken soup and curry are the main flavors. Hints of fresh lemon and tangy mayonnaise pull it together along with a cheesy, crunchy top. It’s easy and can be made ahead of time, so all you need to do is pop it in a preheated oven. And no canned soup in this version – below is a simple recipe to make up a batch of cream of chicken soup with items in your pantry.
for the soup
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- dash of paprika
- 1 1/2 cups milk, divided
- 1/2 cup flour
for the bake
- 16 ounces frozen broccoli
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 4 cups cooked chicken breast, diced (I sometime cheat and use a rotisserie chicken)
- 2 cups cream of chicken soup (recipe above)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
In a medium saucepan bring the chicken broth, 1/2 cup of milk, and all the seasonings to a boil for about two minutes.
Whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour in a bowl. Add to the boiling mixture and turn down heat slightly. Continue whisking briskly until mixture thickens. Test to see if it needs more salt and pepper, adding more if necessary. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook broccoli in boiling water until bright green. Transfer to a colander in the sink and spray with cold water; drain. Arrange broccoli in a greased or non-stick sprayed 12 X 9 inch baking dish. Put cooked chicken over the broccoli.
In a separate bowl, combine soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice and curry powder. Pour mixture over the chicken layer. Sprinkle with cheese. Top with bread crumbs and dot with butter. At this point you can refrigerate until ready to use, or place in the oven for 3o minutes until crumbs are golden and cheese is bubbly.