Here in the south, we seem to have a reputation for casseroles that involve pouring a can of “cream of something” soup over some protein and vegetables, baking it for a while, and calling it a day. There’s something about casseroles that make them a quintessential comfort food; they are perfect for bringing to a friend’s house to welcome that new arrival, or just to have on hand in the freezer. This casserole takes that very notion of comfort and familiar “cream of” flavor, but without the processed foods. It’s healthy and yet still incredibly filling and comforting.
2 tablespoons oil or cooking fat of choice
2 pounds chicken meat (breast or thigh), chopped into bite sized pieces
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups broccoli florets
5 cups cauliflower florets
1 cup coconut milk
1-2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in your oil, followed by your chicken pieces. Sauté until just about cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate. In the same skillet, sauté the onions and garlic until onions are just translucent, approximately 3-5 minutes. Add in the broccoli florets and about ½ inch of water, and cook broccoli, stirring occasionally, for approximately 3-5 minutes or until broccoli is bright green.
3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine cauliflower with coconut milk and 1 cup of chicken stock over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cover. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork tender. With an immersion blender or food processor, puree the cauliflower and cooking liquid until no lumps remain. Add in more chicken stock to reach desired consistency (we prefer ours a little on the thicker side). Mix in the garlic powder, curry powder, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper.
4. Place the broccoli/onion mixture and chicken in a 9×13 casserole dish or similar sized oven-proof dish. Stir in the cauliflower mixture and combine well. Sprinkle the top with paprika, and place in the oven for 10 minutes, or until slightly browned on top and cauliflower mixture is bubbly around the edges.