Sunday evening, Beth of Eat.Drink.Smile rounded up a bunch of Nashville food bloggers and put together a get-together at the newly-opened Olivia Olive Oil boutique. I didn’t take any pictures because I was busy running my mouth (why yes, I am an extrovert), but it’s a lovely shop and they were fabulous hosts for us. They had all different kinds of olive oils that we tried, as well as gourmet jams, chutneys, and other fun food stuffs. If you’re looking for a great hostess gift for the upcoming holiday party season, I would highly recommend that you check out Olivia Olive Oil. It was also great to meet a bunch of other food bloggers who, if they haven’t already, will soon be added to the little tab up top that says “Blogs I Love”.
With a big thunderstorm coming that night, we quickly dispersed to our respective homes, but I was energized and inspired by the company and decided to whip up this casserole for the week ahead. I had earmarked this recipe with plans to use the very last package of chicken remaining in the freezer. I knew Joe would love it because it has all of the delicious buffalo chicken flavors but without the mess of wings. And casseroles are so delightfully comforting, and they remind me of lots of wonderful church potlucks.
Fortunately, this one doesn’t contain any weird cream of [blank] soup to use as a thickener – just milk and cornstarch. I even substituted soy milk without any problems or taste issues. However, there was a little too much pasta, and I increased the amount of hot sauce. Changes are reflected below. So take this to a church or neighborhood potluck and watch everyone go crazy or serve it at your next football-watching party with a big green salad. Nobody will even know that it’s a healthy recipe!
Buffalo Chicken Casserole
source: Eating Well September/October 2010
Yields 8 servings
- 8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 medium carrots, sliced
- 3 medium stalks celery, sliced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 4 cups low-fat milk
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup hot sauce, preferably Frank’s Red Hot
- 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 4 ounces)
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Bring a Dutch oven of water to a boil. Cook noodles until barely tender, about 2 minutes less than package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside.
- Heat oil in the pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink on the outside, 5 to 7 minutes. Whisk cornstarch and milk in a medium bowl; add to the pot along with salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often, until bubbling and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in hot sauce.
- Spread the noodles in a 9-by-13-inch (or similar 3-quart) baking dish. Top with the chicken mixture; sprinkle with blue cheese.
- Bake the casserole until it is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Per serving: 441 calories; 12 g fat (5 g sat, 5 g mono); 79 mg cholesterol; 47 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 37 g protein; 5 g fiber; 671 mg sodium; 619 mg potassium.