I love to make meals for friends and family. There is nothing more satisfying than dropping off dinner to a loved one. My go to meal has always been grassfed beef meatloaf and mashed potatoes. However, since Josh and Jared have been raising pastured chickens at Foxhollow Farm, I’ve been experimenting with making healthy chicken casseroles using seasonal veggies. Roasting a whole chicken for my family is old hat. I always seem to have leftovers and can’t quite figure out how to reimagine them into an entirely new dish. For some reason a casserole just never seemed that appealing. Wow, was I wrong! This layered spin on a traditional casserole is flavorful, light, and has proven to be a great way to turn a few cups of leftover chicken into a one-dish meal for family, friends, and neighbors to enjoy.
- 1 whole cooked chicken or 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cut up into bite size pieces
- 1 head Cauliflower, de-stemmed and cut into bite size pieces or florets
- 2-3 Zucchini, thinly sliced into coins
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 8 oz log of soft goat cheese
- 1 pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs (basil, cilantro, chives, parsley) or 2 teaspoons dried herbs (thyme, oregano, basil)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
Start by either roasting a whole chicken or using leftover chicken from a previous meal. To roast a whole chicken. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and pat dry the chicken. Cover the chicken with olive oil, salt, and pepper (optional: tie the legs with kitchen twine). On a roasting rack or sheet pan, roast the whole chicken for 30 minutes breast side down, then roast for another 30 breast side up until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees with a meat thermometer. Let the chicken cool before cutting or shredding into 3 cups of cooked chicken.
Steam the cauliflower in a deep pan (I used a Dutch Oven). Place all florets in about 1 inch of water and a pinch of salt. Cover and set to medium heat. Steam until all florets are just tender, about 15 minutes. When the cauliflower are nearly done, preheat the oven to 375. Remove cauliflower from heat and strain to remove all liquid from the pan. Set the cauliflower aside on a kitchen towel to drain and cool.
In a large mixing bowl, add eggs, soft goat cheese and greek yogurt. Stir until completely mixed. Add the cut up chicken, red pepper flakes, herbs, black pepper, and salt. Stir until almost completely mixed.
To assemble, layer the zucchini on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Drizzle olive oil, and add a pinch of salt and pepper between each layer until all zucchini coins are used. Layer the chicken mixture and then cauliflower on top. Sprinkle the shredded parmesan cheese on top. Place in the oven for 35 minutes. Casserole is done when the top is golden brown. I like to broil for 3 extra minutes to give the top a little extra crisp.