This isn't a quick recipe to make, but the flavors are great. A medley of sauteed leeks and mushrooms, white beans, and chicken broth are blended together to make a very flavorful and healthy substitute for the canned cream soup.
We loved the flavors in this dish, but I made it in a large corningware dish that was nowhere near 9x13, and I thought there was not enough broccoli and chicken, but too much sauce. Next time I'll keep the corningware dish, but reduce the amount of sauce.
Source: Clean Eating Magazine, May/June 2009, page 58
Serves: 4 to 6
- 2 cups low fat, low sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks, sliced very thin and cleaned
- 1/2 pound cremini or button mushrooms (8 ounces, about 15), sliced and roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 pound broccoli, florets and stems cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup cooked cannellini beans, or 1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, freshly grated
- 2 tbsp fresh chives
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 2 ounces reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a wide, medium saucepan with a tightly fitting lid, bring broth to a boil. Add chicken, cover pan and reduce heat so broth and chicken simmer for 5 minutes. Then remove pan from heat (do not uncover) and poach chicken in hot broth for 12-15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
- While chicken poaches, heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add leeks and mushrooms. Cook stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender and liquid has cooked out, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds before removing pan from heat and setting aside.
- When chicken is done, lift from the both and transfer to a cutting board. Cover saucepan and return broth to a boil. Cut chicken into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside, keeping warm. Add broccoli to boiling broth, cover pan again and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook broccoli until it is fork tender, not mushy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Lift broccoli from broth with a slotted spoon and distribute it onto the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Set aside. Reserve broth.
- Add beans, cottage cheese, parmigiano-reggiano cheese, chives and thyme to a blender or food processor. Add cooked leeks, mushrooms and garlic. Carefully pour broth into blender or food processor and puree mixture until very smooth, taking care to avoid escaping steam or hot liquid splashes.
- In a bowl, mix lemon juice and pepper together with chicken. Pour half of puree over chicken and stir to combine. Spread chicken across broccoli in baking pan and then pour remaining puree over top. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and transfer to oven. Bake for 15 minutes and then, if desired, broil for 5 additional minutes to brown the top of the casserole.
- Serve a heaping spoonful of casserole on top of steamed grains, like brown rice or barley pilaf. Be sure to ladle the flavorful juice from the bottom of the pan onto hot cooked grains.