There’s something so 1970’s housewife about making a casserole, but I love it. It was likely the first thing that I learned how to make, when I was 10 years old, that perhaps even sparked my interest in cooking. Toss everything in a dish, and top with cheese. It was supremely easy for someone who could barely reach the counter-top. So, now 22 years later, here I am towering over the counter-top and still getting the same bliss from making a Chicken & Cauliflower Casserole. Only now, I have the added pleasure of sharing the recipe with you.
My how the times have changed… 🙂
Chicken & Cauliflower Casserole with Kalamata Olives & Fresh Thyme
- 4 chicken legs, boneless/skinless, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 head of cauliflower, approximately 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 2/3 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup minced Kalamata olives, pitted
- 1 Tbsp salted butter, room temperature
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced, divided
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup red (or white) wine
- 1/2 cup water
- Extra virgin olive oil, for frying
- Green onions, chopped, optional for garnish
Preheat oven to 400F.
In a bowl combine softened butter, Panko, cheese, kalamata olives, and 1/2 the fresh thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Combine, and set aside.
In a large pot, heat about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil on medium-high heat. Add in chicken pieces, and let brown before tossing, approximately 3 – 5 minutes untouched. Season with salt and pepper, and remove from pan to set aside in a bowl.
Add in a little more EVOO, then the onion, carrot and garlic. Toss to combine, and deglaze with red wine and water. Add in the cauliflower, fresh thyme, and chicken. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as necessary.
Transfer the chicken mixture to a oven-proof casserole/baking dish. Top with the cheese and Panko mixture. Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, then crank the oven to a low broil. Brown the top for 3 – 5 minutes, or until the topping is browned and bubbly. Top with green onions, optional.
Serves with a side of rice or potatoes, or if you’re into shrinking that booty, a simple salad would be divine.
When you just feel like a good cheezy casserole, this is the recipe you’re looking for.
*If you recreate this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag @ally_in_moderation on Instagram!