Chicken Casserole for the Soul

Sunday, October 23, 2011
I wasn’t feeling great yesterday.  In fact, I felt lousy from the time I dragged myself out of bed.  I spent much of the morning lying on the family room couch, and in the late morning I croaked out to the girls what they could make themselves for lunch.  I vaguely heard them bustling around in the kitchen and, the next thing I knew, the two of them were standing over me.  “We made you lunch,” they said.

It turned out they had made me chicken noodle soup.  From scratch.  Without a recipe.  Is it any wonder that within the hour I was feeling 100% better?  Chicken soup under any circumstances is completely restorative.  Chicken soup, homemade by your daughters without even asking, has miraculous healing tendencies.

I don’t have a chicken soup recipe for you today, but I do have a chicken recipe.  This Roasted Garlic and Cheddar Orzo with Chicken and Broccoli is absolutely wonderful.  I found the recipe on The Brick Kitchen blog.  Despite my sweet tooth, I really try to eat healthy food, and Tasha always has amazing recipes that make it easy to do so.  It’s the next best thing to having someone else make you chicken noodle soup.

Roasted Garlic and Cheddar Orzo with Chicken and Broccoli
Note: this recipe serves 2 – 3, and can be doubled

1 medium-sized head of garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 cup uncooked orzo
1 large head of broccoli, cut into small florets, about 5 cups (I used frozen)
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 Tbsp flour
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped cooked chicken

Remove the outer papery skins from the head of garlic.  Trim off a little from the top of the head, so that all of the cloves are partially exposed.  Drizzle with a little olive oil, wrap in foil and roast at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Squeeze garlic cloves from skins and mash with a fork to make garlic paste.  (This step can be done ahead.)

Cook orzo until al dente, according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Saute broccoli for 10 – 12 minutes, or until tender-crisp, stirring frequently.  Using a slotted spoon, remove broccoli and set aside.

Add butter to pan.  Once melted, add garlic paste and bell pepper.  Cook for 1 minute.  Whisk in flour, stirring constantly until flour mixture turns golden brown, 1 – 2 minutes.  Pour in broth and, stirring frequently, simmer until slightly thickened, another couple of minutes.  Add cheese and stir until smooth; allow to thicken slightly. 

Mix in broccoli and chicken, and cook until just heated through.  Add cooked orzo and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  Serve warm.


46 comments:

Rita said...

I hope you are feeling better Beth; what a nice feeling to have your girls prepare you chicken noodle soup.
I was looking around for a recipe for tomorrow; supper with chicken and broccoli...no cream soup. Thank you.
Rita

allieksmith said...

I hope you feel better soon!! :)

Unknown said...

This looks fantastic Beth. You are very luck to have such sweet girls who whipped up a restorative chicken soup for you. I certainly hope you are on the mend.

Joanne said...

How sweet of your daughters to tend to you ... Hope you're feeling better today.

Janet Johnson said...

Awww! What sweet daughters! (Clearly they are taking after their mother). :)

yummychunklet said...

How nice of your daughters to make you soup, from scratch no less!

Elaine said...

Awww...and the BEST part of it was that the soup was made with love and nothing makes you get better faster than that! I love making casseroles in the fall and winter months and this one looks and sounds perfect.

Heather said...

What sweet daughters! :)

Valerie said...

Your daughters obviously inherited your generous spirit (and culinary talents). :)

The orzo looks delicious! Sign me up for anything that involves cheese, garlic, and any form of pasta.

LDH said...

Sweet, caring girls. I know they learned that from their mama :) Happy to hear you are feeling better.

Bonnie said...

There is nothing like homemade chicken soup to make you feel better. The casserole dish looks scrumptious. I'm working on chicken gumbo for tonight. If it turns out I will share tomorrow. Willie sends his love. He is watching over me this weekend.

Jeanne said...

I'm glad you're feeling better! What a sweet surprise from your daughters, and it's no wonder that their homemade soup helped to cure you. This dish looks fabulous, especially with the roasted garlic.

laurie said...

What a nice thing for them to do! This recipe looks wonderful!

Anna said...

Yum, this looks like perfect comfort food! And I happen to have a bag of orzo looking for a use, thank you!

tenaciouslyyours.com said...

Maybe this is weird to say, but the fact that your daughters actioned a lunch for you when you were feeling under the weather and it was homemade chicken noodle soup? Is kind of like a perfect example of the type of women you've raised them to become. Thoughtful, clever, resourceful. I hope you feel better soon!

Christina Lee said...

*reaches through the screen* I can SO make this--thx for this easy recipe!!

jillbert said...

Chicken and broccoli are two of my favorites, so this sounds great!

Sookie said...

Looks so hearty and delicious! Sook @ myfabulousrecipes.com

grace said...

this would definitely give chicken noodle soup a run for its money in the comfort department--bravo!

Barbara said...

I hope you're feeling all better now, Beth. How sweet and loving of your daughters to make chicken soup from scratch! Without a recipe! I am so impressed.
Your chicken dish with all that lovely garlic looks delish!

Carol said...

Hope you are feeling better. Homemade soup from your girls sounds like it was the perfect remedy! Your chicken casserole looks delicious, a perfect dish of comfort food.

Belinda said...

That is so awesome!That is sure to make you feel better.

Lizzy said...

Beth, what sweet children!!! And this casserole looks delicious...I don't think I'd hear any complaints if I served this :)

Mary said...

This looks wonderful, Beth. I hope you are feeling much better today. I love that your version of a "casserole" actually sounds delicious! Most chicken casserole recipes are not ones that I would be thrilled to eat. This sounds perfect.

Miriam said...

I love the orzo and broccoli in this. Yummy :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Monet said...

What a wonderful family you have. I hope you woke up feeling much better today. This looks delicious. Thank you for sharing, dear friend. I'm so glad that I'm able to type again. Your blog makes me hungry (and of course, it makes me smile!). Much love and warm wishes from Austin.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

That's so sweet of your girls.

Yummy looking food. I'm going to have to remember this one.:D

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Awww, that was so sweet of your girls! I don't think my daughter would have a clue how to make anything from scratch. She'd have to look for an app on her iphone to figure out how to make anything. :D

Angela Felsted said...

Yum. Do you like it better than cold cabbage soup?

lisa is cooking said...

How sweet of your daughters to make homemade chicken soup for you! A perfect cure. This chicken casserole looks like a feel-good meal too. I love broccoli with chicken.

Jess said...

You just gave me my dinner for this Thursday! I've got extra chicken breasts and broccoli, and I love orzo.

And your girls are awfully sweet AND talented in the kitchen :)

Claudia said...

You just gave the best reason for having children - chicken soup! For me it is a cure-all and I hope it's worked its wonder on you. The casserole is grand - looking at comfort these days with a high health quotient. This wins!

Emily Malloy said...

Oh! My!

How wonderful :)

nancy at good food matters said...

such good daughters--and resourceful! there was, no doubt, extra love in that curative soup. you are raising them well.

Amie Kaufman said...

As ye sow, so shall ye reap? You must have taught them well!

Joanne said...

Aww how sweet are your girls! I could definitely see the love being infused into that soup as being curative. Hope you feel better soon!

Laura Pauling said...

That was so nice of them to cook soup for you! And that recipe looks yum! Thanks.

lapetitepancake said...

Honestly, any recipe that calls for a head of roasted garlic is a win in my book.
Can you believe I've never made orzo? I don't even think I've tasted it more than once. Something is wrong with that picture.

Raina said...

Sorry to hear you were not feeling well. Sounds like you did a great job raising your girls. That must have been one extra special and delicious soup. This casserole sounds wonderful:)

Medeia Sharif said...

Your daughters are sweet and I'm glad you're feeling better.

comfortablydomestic.com said...

How sweet of your girls to make you soup! Clearly, you've taught them well. I do hope that you are feeling better. I'd feel better if I hate some of that casserole! I'm usually not a fan, but the orzo, broccoli & cheddar sold me.

Kathleen said...

Sorry you're not feeling well :( What sweet girl you have to take care of you. This casserole looks delish!

Bizzy B. Bakes said...

You can take such pride in your daughter. She must be wonderful.

When you are feeling well, please stop by and take a look.
http://bizzybakesb.blogspot.com/2011/10/special-days.html

Angie's Recipes said...

I hope you feel better by now. And how sweet of your daughter making you such a comforting dish!

julie said...

Chicken soup definitely has healing properties. What amazing daughters you have! Feel better soon and have a nice weekend!

Tasha said...

Beth, I am so behind in blogging! Somehow I have 400+ posts in my reader and no matter how I try to catch up, it doesn't seem to go down. I'm just reading this one now. Thank you so much for the link and your kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed this! One of these days, I'll get back to posting on my own blog.

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