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Killer Casseroles that Rock

Posted on October 3, 2012

Summer tomatoes and corn may be coming to an end, but that just means heartier comfort food is sure to make its way to your dinnertime menu. The cool weather turns on our cravings for stick-to-your-bones meals that come perfectly packaged when baked in a casserole dish.

As if these flavors themselves weren’t enough to excite, another fabulous benefit about the one-dish-meal casserole is that most freeze really well and can be stored par-cooked or fully baked for other evenings when a quick fix is a must. Our suggestion: double your recipes for casseroles, preparing one for this evening’s meal and freezing the other for the busy holiday season ahead.

Chicken Pot Pie: Start with your rotisserie chicken leftovers or sauté bite-sized pieces of FreeBird in some butter with onions, garlic and celery. Whisk in flour to make a roux and then stir in chicken broth to create a rich gravy. Add potatoes, peas and plenty of chopped parsley, then pour into a casserole dish or deep-dish piecrust. Top with prepared pastry dough and bake until you smell that golden crust.

White Lasagna: Shred some chicken breast and heat in your favorite alfredo or béchamel sauce. Now, in a separate bowl, combine chopped cooked broccoli, Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese and an egg to bind. Layer mixtures between sheets of cooked lasagna noodles in an alternating pattern. Drizzle the top of the lasagna with a bit of alfredo, grated Parmesan cheese, black pepper and freshly chopped basil and oregano. Bake until bubbly, golden and outrageously tasty!

Shepherd’s Pie: Brown some ground FreeBird with chopped garlic, onions and celery. Simmer with chopped tomatoes, paprika and chopped chives, then pour into a casserole or deep pie pan. Mix fluffy mashed potatoes with an egg to bind and spread or pipe over the top of the chicken mixture. Bake until lightly browned and piping hot.

Tamale Pie: Shred some braised chicken thighs or brown ground FreeBird chicken to start. Season with chili powder, cumin and garlic, then simmer in a chicken broth, pinto bean and green chile mixture with some masa harina sprinkled in as a thickener. Finish it off with a handful of chopped cilantro and pour into a casserole dish. Top with prepared cornbread batter. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and bake until gooey and delicious.