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Chicken, Leek, and Mushroom Casserole
A hearty multigrain bread works best in this casserole. It will maintain its texture, unlike a softer white-bread loaf, which may become gummy.
- 1 1/3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 large)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, coarsely chopped and rinsed well
- 1 celery stalk, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved if large
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons dry sherry
- 2 1/4 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 8 slices dense multigrain bread, crusts removed, slices cut into triangles
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan (1 ounce)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, and cook until golden brown on 1 side, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip, reduce the heat to medium and cook until cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and return the pan, with drippings, to medium heat.
Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in the pan. Add the leek, celery, mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are golden brown and tender, 8 to 10 minutes. (Reduce the heat if the vegetables brown too quickly.) Stir in the flour, and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add the sherry, stock, milk and bay leaf, and cook, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaf.
Arrange the bread on the bottom of a 2-quart oval baking dish, overlapping the slices slightly. Spoon half of the vegetables and sauce over the bread. Slice the chicken crosswise, 1/2-inch thick, and arrange on the bread. Top with any accumulated juices from the chicken. Spread the remaining vegetables and sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with the parsley and Parmesan and bake until golden brown and bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Martha Stewart Living. All rights reserved.
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