So there is only one last ingredient, leftover from my holidays and that is my cornbread stuffing. I use to really struggle with ideas about what to do with my leftover stuffing, until two years ago when on a whim I decided to use it instead of pastry on a meat pie, the result was amazing. Now I am sure I am not the first person to come up with this idea but up until that point I had never thought about it. But ever since then I have had a lot of fun using up stuffing, so much so that I actually make too much on purpose just so I can have the leftovers. I have used it in replacement to breadcrumbs in dishes like a Chicken Bake and have come up with a new casserole dish every year.
It is interesting to me, that something as ordinary as leftovers can become such a fun traditional challenge. It’s amazing to see how much I have grown in my cooking skills since the first time I started to push myself to be more adventurous. I use to be very dependent on recipes, if I couldn’t find a recipe on how to do it I would have never even thought to give it a try. But as the years go by I have found my confidence at just throwing ingredients together has greatly improved. To be honest I think that cooking is a lot more to do with confidence then it is to do with skill. Once you have the confidence to give it a try all it takes is practice and you will find that each time it gets better and better. I have found that these days 90% of my experiment dishes turn out as a success, while only 2 years ago that figure would have probably been around 50%. Yes sometimes you have an odd meal that isn’t your best but think of it this way, the more you experiment the better you will get. And more experimenting means a wider variety of dishes coming out of your kitchen and that is the best way I have found to stop the family from wanting to eat out. When your cooking is better and has more variety then a restaurant does it will mean that it can get harder to convince people to want to eat out, it isn’t an impossible dream for your cooking abilities. The other day I finally convinced my husband that I was tired and didn’t want to cook so we went out, and after his first bite he grumpily said, ‘You could make this better and it would have cost less’. Oh well!
Chicken, Broccoli and Stuffing Casserole
3 chicken breast, diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
2 c. frozen broccoli, defrosted
1 onion, diced
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp butter
1 c. milk
1 c. cheddar, grated
3 c. leftover stuffing
Heat skillet with olive oil, when the skillet is hot add the chicken, salt, thyme and garlic powder. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink.
Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the broccoli and cook for 3 minutes longer. Set aside
Add the milk; stir well. Cook on low heat until mixture becomes thick. Add cheese and salt and pepper to taste.