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Ham and Chicken Casserole)--NEW

Recipe: Ham and Chicken Casserole)--NEW NEW


    This casserole isn't a Zola original. It was an inspiration I found on the internet and then doctored up to make it my own. I'll write it up the way I made it the first time and then I'll tell you how I would consider making it next time to take it up a level. Thanks to a woman named Jan Taylor for the inspiration.



    2 cups of uncooked egg noodles
    4 Tbl of butter
    4 Tbl of white flour
    2 cups of milk
    8 oz of cooked chicken, cubed. I buy the prepacked, cooked chicken and just cut it up. I choose the Italian, grilled version so you get some more flavor mixed in.
    1 cup of cooked diced ham. All I did was buy a small ham steak and cube it up.
    ½ cup of chopped celery. I made mine sliced celery instead of chopped, so the chunks are bigger. Having a bit of crunch really gave the casserole texture.
    ½ tsp of salt
    ½ tsp of pepper
    8 oz of shredded Cheddar cheese. Next time I'd use half Gruyere and half Cheddar to give it a bit of a denser flavor
    ½ tsp of cayenne (or to taste). I'm always adding some zip. This is optional, but even people who like bland food appreciated this.
    1 tsp of paprika


    Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9 X 13 ovenproof pan.

    In a soup pot or pasta pot, bring water to a boil (fill it so it will cover the noodles well). Once it's boiling put in your noodles. Cook for 6 - 8 minutes (or according to package directions). Stir half way through the cooking time. Drain.

    While that's happening you can work on your sauce. In a large sauce pan, put in your butter and melt it on medium. Add the flour and mix, stirring constantly. Keep stirring. You are making a roux and the base for a traditional white sauce. Slowly add your milk. Stir on medium for 5 minutes or until your sauce thickens. Remove from heat. If your pot is big enough you can mix the rest in with the noodles or you might need to use a large bowl. Mix the sauce, the noodles, chicken, ham, cheese, celery, salt, pepper and cayenne. Spoon the mixture into your baking dish and sprinkle on the paprika for color. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the whole thing is hot, melted and gooey.

Serving Suggestions:

    Serve hot. A simple salad on the side and a piece of bread to push around the noodles and you are all set. Or you can curl up with a bowl of it and watch a movie like we did.

Enjoy. Cheers! Zola

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