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CARLA HALL Buffalo Chicken Casserole

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This buffalo chicken casserole will be a hit!

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds ground chicken
1 onion (peeled and 1/2-inch dice)
3 stalks celery (1/2-inch dice)
2 carrots (peeled and 1/2-inch dice)
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 cup hot sauce
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
2 cups celery root (peeled and 1-inch dice)
2 potatoes (peeled and 1-inch dice)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup blue cheese (to garnish)

Preheat oven 350ºF. Grease a 9inch x 13inch casserole dish.
In a large sauté pan, add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the ground chicken and cook until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Remove to a large bowl.
Add the onion, celery, carrots, thyme, and garlic and cook until almost tender, about 7 minutes. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add to the bowl with the chicken.
In a clean large sauté pan add the butter. When melted, add the flour, whisk and cook for 1 minute. While whisking, add the milk slowly, bring to a simmer and allow to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove and pour over the chicken mixture. Add the hot sauce and fold together to combine.
Scoop into the bottom of the casserole dish and top with celery root mashed potatoes.
For the Celery Root Mashed Potatoes: in a large pot, place the potatoes and celery root. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for about 20-25 minutes or until tender. Drain, return to the pot and mash using a potato masher or ricer. Stir in butter, milk and season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Scoop on top of the chicken mixture and smooth. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with blue cheese.
Helpful Tip: Build the casserole ahead of time! Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes. Then follow baking instructions.

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