Chicken & Spinach Casserole

Have you ever been so distracted you don’t know how you possibly survived the day!?  I probably shouldn’t admit to these things…  I’ve gone to heat my morning cup of tea in the fridge.  I’ve attempted to reheat dinner leftovers in a microwave that died months ago. I’ve caught myself putting dry cat food in the fridge instead of the pantry. I forget to apply lip gloss, lipstick or chapstick before leaving the house in the morning. I amaze myself that I make it to work in the morning and home in the evening – I’d hate to think I could forget my way! 😉

Thankfully I found a dish that is forgiving and perfect for those suffering from ADS (Attention Distraction Syndrome). I intentionally made some substitutions and eliminations while making this casserole, however there were a few things I missed both literally and figuratively.  Such as, I read “1 shredded rotisserie chicken” instead of “1 CUP..”  Oops! I intentionally didn’t salt the bread cubes and I substituted chicken broth for the wine as I didn’t have white wine on hand. I used my 5 1/2-quart Le Creuset Dutch oven rather than my 2-quart corningware casserole dish.  This caused the casserole to look a bit on the “light” side.  I don’t have an excuse for that one. [Sigh]  I had intended, but forgot, to salt and pepper the casserole before placing in the oven. But honestly, the dish was seasoned well without it and that says a lot being I’m usually a salt-fein and could always go for a little more salt.

This casserole is definitely a fit for the comfort food category.  It was a little more involved than my mind was capable of handling, as proven with my misses, but it was a fairly quick meal to prepare considering the use of rotisserie chicken.  If one was feeling ambitious and organized, which I clearly am not at this time, you could always bake/roast your own chicken for this dish.  On a cool evening when all you want to do is curl up on the couch in your sweats with a comfy blanket, watch crap TV and eat a simple warm and tasty meal, Chicken and Spinach Casserole is perfect!

Chicken & Spinach Casserole

Chicken and Spinach Casserole

2 cups torn bread
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
4 cups packed flat-leaf spinach, washed
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine bread with 1 tablespoon oil, season with salt. Set aside. In a medium pot, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil over medium-high. Add spinach; season with salt. Cook, stirring until wilted, 2 minutes. Transfer to a colander, let cool, then squeeze out water. Coarsely chop.

2. Wipe pot clean and heat 1 1/2 teaspoon oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion is soft, about 8 minutes.

3. Add wine to pot and cook until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in half-and-half. Add lemon juice and bring mixture to a boil over high heat.

4. Remove from heat and stir in chopped spinach and chicken; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish and top with bread pieces. Bake until bread is golden brown and mixture is bubbling, 8 to 10 minutes.

Note: I sprinkled the casserole with Hot Hungarian Paprika before baking.

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