Friday 18 January 2013

Chicken, Potato, and Cabbage Gratin

I had the good fortune to score a big block of Gouda at the grocery store last week, on manager's special for half price.  I love it when that happens!  

I shredded the entire block of cheese, portioning most of it for the freezer, but I kept a couple of cups aside to use right away.  

I had the cooked breast from a slow cooker roast chicken set aside in the freezer, together with the chicken's pan juices.  

Gouda melts well and its mild taste pairs nicely with poultry, so I saw an opportunity to pair the two in a gratin.  

As with every dish I cook, the ingredients were chosen based upon what I had on hand: There was some cooked cabbage in the fridge and I had canned potatoes in the cupboard. There was a bag of bread crumbs in the freezer.  

These ingredients provided the framework for the dish.

Since I was going to be preparing some for the gratin anyway, I decided to make a fairly sizeable batch of cheese sauce.  I doubled the sauce portion of this recipe, and used half of it to make my gratin.  The other half was set aside to make us a memorable eggs benedict variation, and will provide us with some very tasty creamed spinach tonight.

(The ingredients photo shows the amounts I used for my double batch of cheese sauce, but the recipe gives the amounts required for just this dish.)

To make chicken, potato, and cabbage gratin, you'll need:

  • 7 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup strong chicken stock (I used the juices from roasting a chicken in the slow cooker)
  • 3/4 cup fat free evaporated milk (or use regular if you prefer, or you can use light cream)
  • 1 cup shredded gouda cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken (I used breast meat from our slow cooker roasted chicken)
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups cubed cooked potato (I used home canned potatoes but any cooked potato will do)
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped cooked cabbage
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning to taste

Melt 3 Tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven.  

Add in the chopped onion.  Saute the onion until it's tender and has taken on a light golden colour.

Sprinkle the flour over the onion and continue stirring the onion, butter, and flour together over medium low heat for 5 minutes or so.  (The flour should take on little or no colour.)

Add in the stock, a little at a time while stirring constantly.

Do the same with the evaporated milk.

Continue stirring the sauce until it thickens and comes to a boil.  

Add in the shredded Gouda and stir until the cheese is melted and completely incorporated into the sauce.

Remove the pot from the heat.  Add in the chicken, potato, and cabbage, gently folding them together until they're well combined and the sauce is mixed through.

Pour the breadcrumbs into a bowl and season them generously with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning.

Melt the remaining 4 Tablespoons of butter and then add the butter to the breadcrumbs, stirring with a fork until the butter has moistened the entire mixture.

Spread the buttered crumbs in an even layer over the gratin ingredients.

Place the pot in the oven and bake the gratin for 20 to 25 minutes, until heated through.  

Serve immediately.

This dish will keep a few days in the fridge but should not be frozen.  

Leftover gratin can be used to make a tasty and satisfying soup.  Simply make another batch of cheese sauce, thinned with extra chicken stock.  Stir in the leftover gratin, and heat through.  It'll be ready in minutes.

This post is linked to Gallery of Favorites, hosted by Premeditated Leftovers and The 21st Century Housewife, to Foodie Fridays hosted by Rattlebridge Farm, to Strut Your Stuff Saturday hosted by Six Sisters' Stuff, to Your Great Idea Saturday hosted by Or So She Says, to Nifty Thrifty Sunday hosted by Nifty Thrifty Things, to Weekend Potluck hosted by Mommy Time Party, The Better Baker, Sunflower Supper Club, 4 Little Fergusons, and The Country Cook, to Think Pink Sunday hosted by Flamingo Toes, to Scrumptious Sunday hosted by Addicted to Recipes, to Marvelously Messy Monday hosted by Marvelously Messy, to Busy Monday hosted by A Pinch of Joy

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