Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Greek Chicken Casserole gamble

I love to invent new meals.  But, as much as I say I "invent" recipes, I do usually base my ideas off something I've eaten, seen, read about, or, at the very least, can imagine what it might taste like.  There's always an end result in mind.

Tonight I took a gamble.  I cooked something without any idea about how it would turn out.  I made it up completely as I went.  I started with some leftover cooked chicken and the idea of a casserole.  Did I want Mexican?  Italian?  American?  I couldn't decide.  So I went out on a limb and tried Greek because I'd never heard of a Greek casserole.  This is what I did.

In a saute pan, I combined (all from the bucket, except the minced garlic and bacon)
  • sliced onions
  • sliced garlic scapes
  • oyster mushrooms
  • fresh spinich
  • parsley
  • oregano
  • basil
  • minced garlic
  • precooked bacon
I sauteed all those ingredients with a pat of Earth Balance and added salt, pepper, Penzey's Black and Red, and a dash Penzey's Hot Mustard powder.

I put the sauteed mixture into a casserole dish and added in the cooked, leftover chicken, cooked orzo pasta, a can of cream of onion soup, and a blob of cream cheese.  I cooked it, covered, at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Then, I removed the cover and topped with crushed blue corn tortilla chips and crumbled feta, and then cooked it for another 10 minutes.

I made no promises to my family.  Was it going to be good?  Horrible?  I honestly had no idea how this would turn out.

First thing Lee said: This is good!

He didn't even know that there were mushrooms in there- shhhhhh.

Whew, I took a gamble and won!  The only thing I would do differently is to add only a half can of cream of onion because the casserole was a little too sticky- which can be a danger of orzo pasta.  Or, I might've used a different kind of small pasta.  Hmmm....might have to try this one again with a twist.

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