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Saturday, March 07, 2009

Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole

1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1 1/2 cup water, approximate
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon or 1-tsp dried tarragon
1 teaspoon salt, or less
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, or to taste
1/4 cup dry white wine
10 ounce frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
8 ounce spinach pasta, fresh
8 ounce mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil or olive oil spray
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs, coarsely ground from french bread
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Cook chicken: Combine chicken, 1 cup water, garlic and bay leaf in large saucepan. Cover and simmer just until chicken is cooked through, turning once, about 15 min. Transfer chicken to plate, cool. Shred chicken. Pour cooking liquid into measuring cup, adding more water to measure 1 cup if necessary. Reserve cooking liquid. White sauce: Whisk flour and cornstarch in heavy large saucepan. Add 1 cup milk, whisk until smooth. Stir in 1 cup milk, tarragon, salt, nutmeg and reserved 1 cup chicken cooking liquid. Stir over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils, about 5 minutes. Add wine, stir until mixture is very thick about 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Stir in shredded chicken and spinach. (can be made 1 day ahead to this point. Cover and chill. Re warm over medium-low heat, stirring frequently before continuing). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 11x7x2 inch glass baking dish.

Pasta: Cook fettuccine it large pot of boiling salted water unto just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Return to pot. Add mushrooms and chicken mixture, toss. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Crumb topping: Heat oil in small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add read crumbs, stir 1 minute. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake until casserole bubbles and breadcrumb are golden, about 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parmesan.

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