Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cheesy Pasta and Chicken Gratin and the Flu

cheesy chicken pasta casserole

 My daughter calls me often. She makes me happy. Yesterday she told me she cloroxed her desk. It appears many around her have been getting sick with the flu. She then went to get a flu shot. It was good thinking on her part as Pennsylvannia is considered a high risk state. And then she started feeling achy. And she couldn’t lift her arm. And she went home from work-all because she got a flu shot. And then she found out it doesn’t take effect for about two weeks. And that was my fault-but she doesn’t blame me. Can a mother ever win?

Well, my baby, if you were home I would take care of you. I would let you sleep in my bed on the flannel sheets and I would bring you lots of hot tea. And I would massage your feet and George would lay next to you, nudging Freddie out of the way. And we would find a good movie to watch on TV and we would snuggle under the down comforter. But you aren’t home and so I can only hope that you take care of yourself which you have been doing. And you have been doing it sooo well. But I wish I could be there to help. Like a mother does.

George- Really Happy

And if you were home I would make you this. It has all your favorites in it. Pasta and chicken. Cheese and cheese. It is soothing on a cold winter day. I doubled it so it made a lot which means I froze half for when you come home. I miss you sweetie. Be well.
Cheesy Chicken Pasta Casserole #casserole #chicken

Pasta and Chicken Gratin (adapted from Gourmet Today)
(Serves 4-5)
Time to Make: About 20 minutes
 1 roast chicken from the grocery
2 cups chicken stock
Cheese Sauce and Gratin
4 T butter
1 minced garlic clove or maybe two
¼ c flour
1 ½ c milk
½ c crème fraiche or sour cream
½ t pepper
¼ t cayenne
1 t dried thyme
2 ½ c or 8 oz  grated gruyere or vintage gouda
3/4 c  finely shredded Parmigano Reggiano
½ lb penne pasta
3 c fresh bread crumbs

1 3 qt buttered shallow gratin dish

Pull meat from chicken and reserve. Discard skin. (You could make your own poached chicken and use the broth.)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees with rack in center of oven.

Melt butter in 4 qt heavy pot. Add garlic and whisk for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and add flour, and cook whisking for three minutes. You are making a roux. Add milk and chicken stock whisking constantly while bringing to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking frequently, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in crème fraiche or sour cream, 1/2 t salt, pepper, thyme, cayenne, 1 c gruyere and ¼ c parmesan.

Cook pasta in a 4 qt pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Do not overcook. Drain well and return to pot. Add chicken and sauce and toss to coat.

Toss bread crumbs with remaining cheese and sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture. Bake gratin until crumbs are golden brown and sauce is bubbling, 20-30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve to someone not feeling well and make their day.

Other Food for Sick People:

Chicken, Artichoke and Mushroom Casserole
Chicken Soup Chicken
Matzoh Ball Soup
Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Please share and pin for future use!

Cheesy Chicken Pasta Casserole #casserole #chicken

Get My Latest Recipes & More Via E-Mail


  1. I love a decent gratin! And this one looks superb - a gussied up mac 'n cheese (high praise, since I think a decent mac 'n cheese is good stuff!). I hope your daughter gets well soon. We've gotten into the habit of getting flu shots as soon as they're available - late August, or early September. I've had flu, and don't want to get it again - it really can take two weeks out of your life. Better to be safe, I always say. Anyway, good dish - thanks.

  2. Thank you so much. She's already feeling better! And this is really good as I'm not a huge fan of mac and cheese and I like this. But she is a mac and cheese lover!

  3. One of my resolutions in the new year is to try out new recipes. This is in my list. Awesome!!

  4. I never get the shot. Gabi did and got sick... Ori, Gabi, & I love mac and cheese.

    Love to all of you, especially Zoe.

  5. Thanks Purabi. I'll have to check out your site, too. And Meirav if you leave out the chicken it will be kosher and still delicious! The shot thing is a tough call until you get the flu and feel worse I suppose.

  6. Thanks. I don't eat chicken or any other meat at all. I don't think that kosher or not matters to Gabi or Ori, but I will stick to pasta & cheese alone because:
    a. we are used to not mixing cheese & chicken. I don't know if they will find it tasty
    b. so I can eat too :-)

  7. Make sure to substitute vegetable broth, too! Use good cheese and you may need to increase the pasta or decrease the amount of sauce.

  8. Looks so delicious! Perfect meal for dinner!

  9. Thanks Natalie! It was really good and perfect for a weekend dinner.