The time has finally come for me to choose my favorite recipes from my five published cookbooks and update them for us all!
No, I’m not doing away with the wonderful comfort food and family favorites we know and love, but cooking styles, tastes, ingredients, and combinations have changed to become fresher, healthier, and a little more sophisticated. We don’t mind an extra step or two from “fast” to more flavorful.
My daughter Elizabeth, who is an amazing cook for her family and friends, suggested that I start with a favorite chicken recipe. My cookbooks are filled with many variations for chicken in a creamy sauce. Along with the chicken, the main ingredient seemed to be creamy soup from a can. It’s time that we make our own white sauce using natural cream and garden fresh herbs. It’s not that hard and you can create restaurant-worthy meals at home.
Here’s my new favorite way for creamy chicken over brown rice….
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet. Sauté the mushrooms and shallots until soft (about 5 minutes). Add the sherry and sauté for another 2 minutes. Remove to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the shredded chicken, basil and parsley. Set aside.
In a medium stockpot, combine the milk, heavy cream, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Heat until very warm, but not boiling.
In a medium skillet, melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter and sprinkle in the flour to make a roux. Cook and stir constantly until golden brown. Add the roux to the milk mixture, whisking vigorously to prevent lumping. Bring to a boil while whisking to thicken. Cool for a few minutes and then stir in 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan and ¾ cup of the Gruyère cheese. Pour this cheese sauce over the chicken mixture. Spread into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup Gruyère cheese and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees until golden and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Change the time accordingly if you have prepared earlier and refrigerated or frozen the chicken hash.
Serve over brown rice garnished with additional basil and parsley.
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