Cauliflower, Chicken & Cheese Bake
Its cold here in Sydney and I have had a hankering for Cauliflower Cheese. Actually, truth be told, it was just for the sauce but I honestly didn’t think the family would be happy with just that for dinner:)
I was watching Heston (Freaky Chef) Blumenthal this week on the telly and wanted to try out his recipe for cheese sauce which was just white wine, chicken stock and cheese. However. It was 5pm before I realised I had long since drunk all the wine and with Himself not yet home from work, I just couldn’t be stuffed getting the girls in the car to purchase more.
This recipe was kind of made up as I figured I was just feeling lazy and why don’t I just chuck it all in together? It’s kind of like a pasta bake without the pasta. Its also easily changed to Gluten Free as all you need do is swap the regular flour and breadcrumbs for the GF stuff.
YOU WILL NEED:
1 x large chicken breast
1 x head cauliflower
50g butter (or so, we all know I don’t measure these things!)
1Ltr Milk (as above)
1/2 cup flour (ditto)
1 x handful tasty cheese
1 x handful parmesan cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used Panko for extra crunch)
S & P to taste
THE HOW TO:
Preheat your oven to hot (200Deg C)
Slice your breast of chicken through the middle horizontally and cook. (I poached mine). Slice into thin strips and set aside.
Whilst the chicken is on, break your cauliflower into florets and pop in a bag or container in your microwave for 2-3 mins until just tender.
Next, you need to make a roux with your butter and flour. Pop them both in a saucepan on hot and whisk continually to cook out the floury taste a bit.
Start adding your milk a little at a time and don’t stop whisking. (Don’t answer the phone, don’t check your email, don’t worry about the kids sacrificing each other with your good scissors – if you do, your sauce will burn and you don’t want that now, do you??!)
Once you have added about a half of the milk, add the cheese. You want the sauce to be thick and yummy, not thin and runny. You may need to add a bit more milk but keep an eye on it.
Now, grab a baking dish and layer your cauliflower, your chicken and pour over your cheesy sauce. Sprinkle the top with a little more cheese if you like (I do!!) and then your breadcrumbs.
Bake in your oven for about 20 mins or so until your breadcrumbs are golden.
Brought to you with lots of “mmmmm..mmmmm’s” by my family:)