I tested this recipe a few years ago for Mummy Pages (their version with my photograph is here) and it has become a firm favourite in our house. I was skeptical as I had made the full on one before with homemade white sauce and would usually turn my nose up at using tinned soup in anything, but it works, it’s tasty, it’s easy, so I’m sold.
It’s lovely comfort food, great in summer with a side salad or in winter with some wedges or mash and even more veg on the side. I’ve made it for lunch dates, dinners, my sister even brought it to a wake as a lasagne alternative, it’s an adaptable dish. I add sweetcorn and I recommend that you do too, it adds extra texture. Don’t worry if you have only three chicken breasts or half a head of broccoli, since you’re using the readymade condensed soup you’ll have a lovely thick sauce to contain whatever you do use. You can also make this in stages, cooking the chicken breasts and broccoli in the morning and putting it all together before you cook at dinner time.
This recipe freezes and multiplies really well either as a family sized portion or as individual ones in small foil dishes so it’s a regular on my batchcooking rota (I don’t actually have a batchcooking rota but it sounds good).
Very Easy Chicken and Broccoli Bake
4 chicken breasts (you could use leftover roast chicken either)
Head of broccoli
Small tin of sweetcorn
2 x 295g tins of condensed chicken soup- the uncondensed is a bit runny if you use it. I’ve used mushroom flavour too.
1 heaped tbsp mayonnaise (I know, sounds gross but it doesn’t taste it)
1 tsp curry powder (I used a mild one)
130g cheddar cheese – grated
50g melted butter
Put the chicken breasts into a saucepan of cold water, bring to the boil and let simmer til cooked- around 20 minutes depending on the size of the chicken breasts. If you’re not going to assemble the bake immediately don’t drain the water off the chicken breast, the cooking by boiling leaves them really moist and juicy and if you remove them from the water they start to dry up immediately.
Next (or while the chicken is on) you need to part cook the broccoli. Wash it and break it into very small florets and then either boil it or steam it (I steam) until it gives a bit but is still a dark green colour and drain into into very cold water to stop it cooking. If you like your broccoli yellowish green (yuck) you can keep cooking.
If you’re going to cook it now preheat the oven to 180C.
In a large bowl mix the soup, curry powder and mayonnaise, then chop the chicken into bitesized pieces and add the chicken, sweetcorn and broccoli and mix well to distribute the sauce all over. Melt the butter, (I do this in a cup in the microwave) and in a bowl mix the breadcrumbs, cheese and butter.
Put the chicken mix in an ovenproof dish, I use my lasagne dish, top evenly with the breadcrumb mix and either put to one side or bake now for about 20 minutes until the crumb is golden brown.