Thursday, June 2, 2011

Italian Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper and cayenne pepper
salt to taste
8 ounces rotini pasta
2 cups frozen or fresh broccoli florets cooked in microwave for 7 minutes
3 cups skinned and boned cooked chicken, torn into large pieces
1/2 cup sharp shredded cheddar

1 cup  butter style crackers like( ritz or club) crackers crushed fine mixed  with 2 tablespoons of melted butter  and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, mix and set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan; stir in the flour until well blended. Gradually stir in the half and half add broth and cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until mixture is smooth and comes to a boil, about 8 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the mozzarella and cheddar then add  1/4 cup of the Parmesan; remove from heat. Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente or about 10 minutes.

 Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine the pasta, broccoli, cheese sauce and chicken; spread in a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle the surface with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.  Top with cracker crumbs, cover with foil. Bake until top is golden and mixture is bubbly, about 25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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