14 November 2011

second verse, not the same as the first

Due to this persistent no-gluten and low-grains kick, I am revamping a few old favorites.

Ha. "Old" favorites. Like I've been making dinner for fifty years!

Anyway . . . one of those rebooted recipes is chicken divan. Rice seems to confuse my stomach but quinoa is just ducky, so quinoa it is. :) As this wondrous little seed contains all nine amino acids, making it a complete protein, I was able to cut back on the more expensive chicken.

Plenty of flavor, a well-rounded dish, and perfect for freezing if you like being able to pull entire meals out of thin air (practically) at the last minute (well, you have to let it thaw, but you know what I mean). 


Chicken Divan with Quinoa

4 cups cooked quinoa*
2 cups cooked chopped chicken
1 large head broccoli
1/4 cup butter
1 cup diced onion
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup whole milk 
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/4 teaspoons salt (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup grated sharp cheese

1) Preheat oven to 350 and coat 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
2) Chop broccoli into large florets and steam or blanch until just tender. Let cool slightly and chop into bite-size pieces.
3) Meanwhile, melt butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion; cover and cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Add arrowroot flour and whisk briskly to incorporate into butter. Let cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.
4) Add stock and milk to saucepan. Start with 1/2 cup and whisk thoroughly to prevent any lumps, then continue to add in 1/2 cup increments until fully combined. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat to cool slightly. Whisk in mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, thyme, and paprika.
5) Layer the cooked quinoa, chopped chicken, and chopped broccoli florets in prepared baking dish. Pour white sauce over top.**
6) Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle grated cheese over top; return to oven and bake 5-10 more minutes, until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbling at edges.

*The best way to cook quinoa can be found right here.
**At this point you may cover and refrigerate casserole until ready to bake; just remember it will take longer to heat through in oven after having been refrigerated. You may also freeze prepared casserole; when you wish to use it, thaw and bake as directed. Again, it may take longer to heat through than when made fresh. Enjoy!

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