I had thought that posting some Easter dishes would be a great idea for the weekend. And then I realized that my family has never made traditional Easter dishes. Unless you count French fries and ice cream as traditional food, but my guess is not. We are not much for doing turkeys for Thanksgiving (we just do barbecue) or Christmas (veggie, cracker and cheese trays) or lamb for Easter. Instead, we walk along the Rideau Canal to the Elgin Street Diner for poutine, then back to Marble Slab for ice cream. All in all, an amazing day for food, but not helpful for those having a family meal at home!
If, however, you are looking for something that will take less time than a roast, but be fancier than macaroni, this is a dish you should try. It uses up leftover chicken, or you can go all out and make some chicken especially for the occasion. It makes a spectacular number of dishes, but I promise you that the result is worth it. And honestly, it creates less dishes than making a huge roast, and takes just over an hour.
You can also prepare all or part of it ahead of time. I usually cook the chicken and chop it up the day before. You can fry up your bacon and even cook the noodles ahead. If you make the whole thing ahead, just cover the dish in the fridge and add a few minutes to the baking time.
For this dinner, I used 8 chicken thighs that I had made using the honey mustard chicken recipe.
(I think this is from Rachael Ray)
1 package (around 1 lb) of fettuccine (I like the Catelli cracked black pepper fettuccine, but regular also works)
2-5 slices of bacon
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup cream
a handful of sun dried tomatoes (optional)
2 cups cooked chicken (we usually use way more!)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Grease an 8 inch square pan.
Cook and drain the fettuccine according to the package directions. Return the fettuccine to the pot (NOT on the heat anymore).
In a separate pot over medium heat, melt the butter then add the flour and stir until smooth. Slowly pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens and begins to boil. Remove from heat and add the cream, bacon and sun dried tomatoes. Pour the sauce into the noodles and toss to coat.
Layer the noodles and cooked chicken in the baking dish. I usually do one third of the noodles, half of the chicken, another third of the noodles, half the chicken and the rest of the noodles. If you are using less chicken, just do one layer of chicken and two layers of noodles.
Top off the dish with some parmesan (I have done it with both freshly grated and the Kraft shaker, and both turn out really well).
Bake the casserole for 30 minutes or until the top looks brown and crunchy. While it’s baking, you can make some steamed vegetables or a salad to round out the meal!