Savory Parsnip Bake with Chicken

I put together another one of my concoctions in the kitchen that I’d like to share. I used chicken, but if you by chance have any turkey left from Thanksgiving, turkey would work just as well. We were visiting at other family members’ homes over the long Thanksgiving weekend, so we did not have a turkey at our house. If we did, I’m quite sure I’d still have turkey meat to work with – perhaps bagged up into meal-sized portions in the freezer.

Here’s the scoop on the parsnip and chicken bake:

Savory Parsnip Bake with Chicken

Ingredients
Olive oil
1 chicken breast (or approximately equivalent amount of turkey meat)
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup sliced white mushrooms
4 cups sliced parsnips and/or carrots (I used nearly all parsnips, but threw in a few small carrots)
3 T flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3 T butter, melted
2/3 cup oyster crackers or saltines, crushed
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
*Steam parsnips/carrots for 5 to 10 minutes, until starting to get tender. You don’t want them to get very soft.
*Meanwhile, coat skillet with olive oil. Cut chicken breast into 1 inch pieces and cook over medium high heat. (If you are using leftover turkey or leftover chicken, just cup up your meat into small pieces.)
*Remove parsnips/carrots from heat. Remove chicken from skillet.
*In same skillet, saute the onions and mushroom until tender. Add flour. Stir constantly. (Add olive oil if the pan has become too dry. Mine didn’t.)
*Gradually add the milk, continuing to stir constantly. Continue heating and stirring until sauce thickens.
*Fold in the shredded cheddar. It will melt into the sauce. Add the parsnips/carrots and chicken to the pan and mix all ingredients.
*Spread mixture into a baking dish.
*Combine melted butter and cracker crumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the baking dish.
*Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese sauce is bubbling and the topping looks golden.
*Season with salt and pepper if desired.
*Enjoy!

Here it is, pre-bake.

image

Like I said, when I made this dish, it had nothing to do with leftovers, but I could easily imagine it as a great way to use up some extra turkey or chicken you might have on hand. On those occasions that I roast a whole chicken, I am looking for several ways to use up the chicken throughout the week. This recipe will be added to my list!

Oh, and while I’m at it, I can update on my 30 Day Shred goal for November. It turned out to be my 27 Day Shred for the month of November. I did not do it while I was visiting at other people’s homes over Thanksgiving. While I suppose I could have asked for use of the TV/DVD player for my workouts, I really didn’t care to interrupt other people’s agendas. And I REALLY didn’t want to have an audience while family members waited for me to finish. To be quite honest, that is the bigger reason for me. I always tell my husband that he is welcome to join me if he is DOING the workout, but I don’t want him hanging around watching me. It’s bad enough that my kids like to watch me (and point out when I am “wiggling my butt” and such things – they’re called squats, kiddos).

So that’s that. What should I do for December? I better get thinking on that. I have a running plan, but I don’t have anything else in particular in mind.

I hope you’ve had a lovely November and a wonderful Thanksgiving. Christmas will be here before we know it!

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