It's difficult to determine when the first casserole was prepared. Historically speaking, the birth of the casserole can be traced to the first time a cook was stumped for what to serve for dinner, and equally swamped with leftovers. Eureka! A one-dish meal was born.
Typically, a casserole contains at least one vegetable and some type of meat, and either contains or is served with rice, pasta, or potatoes. Finally, there is a delectable sauce that binds the ingredients together into a savory service for four or more.
Today's recipe is a perfect example of a casserole that can be ready to serve in about 45 minutes, as The Cook and Kitchen Staff offer you another savory sample from our "Creative Casserole" recipe collection.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook broccoli as directed on the package; drain and reserve.
Meanwhile, melt butter or margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat. Blend in flour, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken broth, and stir until the mixture thickens and bubbles in the saucepan. Add cream and wine; stir. Reduce heat to simmer, and stir occasionally until the sauce thickens just a bit.
Brown chicken breasts in a large skillet over medium heat, using a splash of olive oil in the skillet, if desired. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts, and turning at least once while browning.
Place broccoli spears crosswise in a 13-inch by 9-inch oven-proof baking dish. Pour half the sauce over the top of the broccoli. Place chicken breasts on top of the broccoli. Add the parmesan cheese to the remaining sauce, then pour over the top of the chicken. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Bake in a pre-heated 350-F degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until heated through. Let the sauce boil a bit to produce a gorgeous golden color; this usually takes about 5 minutes of rapid boiling in the oven.
Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes before serving with a side of rice, pasta, or potato.