Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Chicken and the Egg


Easter eggs are nice and all, but with only two people living in our house, the question arises at once. What to do with all those hard boiled eggs? Do I make deviled eggs? Nah, too much like picnic food and it's still a bit cool for that. Egg salad is always a winner, but I'm thinking about dinner and egg salad sounds like lunch to me.

After trolling through the recipe files, I came across a recipe that is from 1972 or earlier. I made a few adjustments to better comply with current nutritional guidelines, but it still tastes decadent and used some of those hard boiled eggs. It's also perfect for FF#1 (Food Fight #1) hosted by Allen at Eating Out Loud. He chose eggs for the monthly theme. Great choice!

Continental Chicken Casserole, where the chicken meets the egg, can also be made with turkey, it can be prepared ahead, it can serve a crowd, and it's fairly easy to make.

The key is in the mixture of spices in the sauce and the addition of sherry. You don't really taste the sherry as a strong note...it's more of a grace note. It's important to use a good sherry that you wouldn't mind drinking. I used an Amontillado sherry from Jerez de La Frontera in the district of Macharnudo in Spain. It's dry and light enough that it enhances the spices, but doesn't drown them. Don't forget the eggs. They bring all those flavors together. I served this with yolkless egg noodles and steamed peas, but you can use rice too.

Continental Turkey Casserole
3 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth (I used the almost fat free kind of canned, but fresh is better)
1 cup non-fat milk
1 teaspoon mustard (I used standard ballpark style yellow, but other kinds would be good, too)
1/2 teaspoon salt, dash pepper
1/8 teaspoon each: allspice, ground nutmeg, cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon each: paprika (I used sweet Hungarian), and seasoned salt
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 hard cooked eggs, cubed
4 cups cooked turkey (or chicken) cubed in roughly 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon butter
crumbs from one slice whole grain bread

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour until smooth. Using a whisk and over low heat, slowly blend in the broth, then the milk, stirring constantly until smooth.
Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until sauce is thickened.
Combine all the seasonings in a small bowl, then blend into the sauce. Stir in the sherry, fold in the eggs and chicken.
Turn the chicken and egg mixture into a buttered (or spray with cooking spray) 3 quart casserole dish.
Melt the 1 teaspoon butter in a small pan. Add the crumbs and stir to coat with the butter. Top the casserole with the crumbs, spreading evenly. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 - 30 minutes or until the sauce bubbles and the crumbs are browned. Serve hot. Serves 10-12.

8 comments:

Anna Haight said...

This looks so good I could eat it off the page. I think I'd better stay home and cook a meal this week, home cooked something is beaconing! And I'll still be labeling and evaluating for awhile!

pom d'api said...

Hi! I'm discovery your blog, it'so beautiful. You are very creative and i love your profil. Nice to meet you. Your recipe it's very original
candy

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Looks like a super plate! 1972 that's a great recipe file! I want to color a few eggs to take on the plane with us tomorrow!

Elle said...

anna, yes, home cooking can be relaxing break from the PhD work. love your labels and evals.

candy, nice to meet you, too. you are too kind. now i can visit your blog. bet it's great.

tanna, the '72 version used cream and lots more butter. sigh, we didn't know any better. have a safe trip and leave a few egg shells on the floor for local color.

valentina said...

I love the way you add the eggs and chicken. I must give it a go.Could be my weekday lunch to take to work.Thank you for sharing.

Elle said...

valentine, it would be great for lunch. wish sweetie had left me some to take to work.

Lis said...

That casserole sounds wonderful, Elle! I'm all about good casseroles too.. especially after a long day at work. Thanks for sharing! =)

Elle said...

lis, you can make this a day or two ahead for ease of prep after a long day at work. been there & done it.