Sunday, April 20, 2008

Asparagus and Chicken Noodle Casserole - It's the Best Jerry, the Best!

The spring sun says, "Use fresh green asparagus," but the chilly breeze says "how about a creamy, comforting casserole?" I say let's have both. This video recipe shows my fairly straightforward approach to the great American casserole. This recipe can be used for almost any combination of protein and vegetable, and the results will be just as delicious.

I'm not usually a big "blancher" of asparagus, preferring to pan-roast or grill it, but in this recipe the quick dip in boiling
water is necessary to lock in that beautiful green color that remains vibrant even after 30 minutes of baking. The other atypical behavior here is the use of canned cream of mushroom soup. I can't ever remember using it to make soup. Why would you, when homemade mushroom soup is so far superior? But, when making a casserole, it seems completely right, if not required.

No matter what kind of casserole you're making, the best part is the crispy top. You Seinfeld fans will, of course, fondly remember the muffin tops, and pudding skins episodes. What about a restaurant that serves only the top of the casserole? Let's see, what should I call it?




Ingredients:

2 tbsp butter

1/2 onion, diced

2 cloves minced garlic

2 tbsp flour

3 cups milk

1 can cream of mushroom soup

cayenne and salt to taste
8 oz dry wide egg noodles
2 bunch asparagus
4 cooked chicken breasts

6 oz white cheddar cheese

3/4 cup bread crumbs

2 tbsp olive oil


31 comments:

Anonymous said...

lol, you do realize that only Seinfeld fans will understand that headline?

Chef John said...

Yes, but yada, yada, yada, I don't care. ;)

Bruce said...

noodles are missing from the ingredients list.

Chef John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chef John said...

oops! Ok, hold on to your noodle, I'll add it now. Thanks!

foofifofum said...

I remember you once mentioning that "wild" salmon is the type used in the canned variety, so I used that, and just about the same ingredients in your recipe here, also substituting Cream of Asparagus soup for the chicken style. The result is our preferred and enlightened version of the old standby, tuna casserole.

Chef John said...

sounds great!

Anonymous said...

I would call the restaurant "The Gratin Spotin" or "Crusties"

hkfre...oh whatever... said...

That beeping was me...there was a dog outside on the road. *EHMNOTCOUGHCOUGH*

Balu said...

Hm, I don't think I've ever seen a "can cream of mushroom soup" here in good old Germany :).

Most cream of mushroom soups here are powdered ones afaik. But perhaps I just need to look closer :).

How much ml is a can usually?

Chef John said...

there 300 ml. No Cambells in Germany.

Chef John said...

oh, that was you...I'm sure you'll make a lovely couple.

milkshake said...

The likely reason why canned soups mix so nicely with the godly fresh ingredients is that canned soups contain glutamate and inosinate, the umami-tasting flavor enhancers.

If someone in Germany has Knorr powdered mushroom soup, I can't see why they shouldn't make the soup (in a slightly reduced volume), it takes only few minutes to cook, cool it and combine it with some cream and then use as such in the recipe. MSG should be in there just the same ;)

Anonymous said...

'health nut' ... uhhh based on previous recipes and assuming you eat them (which i think you do) almost all your dishes contain at least a couple of tablespoons of butter ;)

liaar!! lol!

Ed said...

I've never used white cheddar, but I have some yellow cheddar left over that I'd like to get rid of. Would this work for that? What's the difference?

Chef John said...

yes, no difference except color.

Ann Marie said...

I used yellow cheddar and it was quite delicious! I also seasoned the chicken breast with Tony Chachere's and added a little extra cayenne and salt at the end when everything was mixed together. I love me some Tony's!

Chef,
If I wanted to add some fresh mushrooms to the mixture do you think they would get too soggy?

Ann Marie said...

I used yellow cheddar and it was quite delicious! I also seasoned the chicken breast with Tony Chachere's and added a little extra cayenne and salt at the end when everything was mixed together. I love me some Tony's!

Chef,
If I wanted to add some fresh mushrooms to the mixture do you think they would get too soggy?

Chef John said...

mushrooms...good.

Carolina said...

Thanks so much for the recipe! I'm a student in Montreal (and still learning how to cook without the help of mom), and it came out great! :) Thanks for the video... huge help!

Anonymous said...

Chef, how do you poach chicken?

Chef John said...

just cover in salted water or stock and gently simmer until the meat is tender. You can add things to the water - lots of recipes online. herbs, etc.

DeLynn said...

I made this tonight, here are my thoughts:

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This was perfect. Not too thick, not too runny, Goldie Locks approved!! I love how tender the asparagus is, the chicken is fabulous poached, and the cheese was a good choice (kraft natural cheese white sharp chedder, swiss & parmesan).

Thanks Chef John! I will be enjoying this recipe for many years to come.

Chicau said...

You made mention about how EASY mushroom soup is to make. Well...........I LOVE mushrooms (no, not like,,,, LOVE). While you're at it, maybe cream of celery.

Making your cream of brocolli w/ bleu cheese fritters tonight along with your baked chicken parmesan (one of my favs)

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef! I just recently found your web site. Every recipe looks amazing. I was thinking of making this recipe with peas instead of asparagus, although I don't know how much to use. I was also thinking of sauteeing celery with the onion. Do you think those flavors would blend well together? Suggestions would be great! Thanks :)

Human Orchestra said...

This looks like an evolved mac and cheese. Amazing. I'm probably going to try this but with macaroni. I don't think the pasta shape should change too much, right?

On a side note, I had some chicken d'arduini and giambotta last week. So good :3

Anonymous said...

You are my favourite chef! I love all your recipes as they are so easy to make and all are so yummy!

dephne kawazoe kumiko said...

Hi there,
how many servings for the ingredients as mentioned?

Chef John said...

Maybe 4-6

ChefJohnsBiggestFan said...

Made this two nights ago and it was fabulous. also my first time eating asparagus and i'm 29 years old. God it was good. Thank you !

axcel14222 said...

This was pretty much Chef's delicious tuna noodle casserole with chicken instead of tuna and asparagus instead of peas. Both delicious. Next time, I'm making a hybrid......tuna noodle casserole with asparagus. Thanks Chef, for two more winners.