December is my most favorite month of the year. I just love the spirit during Christmas season. I feel that there is more love and joy in the hearts of the people. I believe that here in our country, we have the best (and the longest) Christmas celebration. As soon as the “-Ber” months start, we can hear Christmas songs playing on the radios. Many homes begin setting up their Christmas trees, lights and lanterns. Malls are full of colorful holiday decors and shopping sales. It is also the time for parties, reunions and family gatherings. One of the traditions that Filipinos observed during Christmas is the Noche Buena, a family dinner held at midnight (December 25).
Here’s a delicious Christmas recipe that will surely be a hit to the entire family during your Noche Buena.
Jolly Christmas Chicken Casserole
1 kilo chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch thick strips
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup all-purpose flour to coat the chicken
6 tablespoons Jolly Canola oil, divided
1 big can Jolly mushrooms whole
1 small can Jolly Shitake mushrooms
1 big can Jolly green peas
1 medium onion, chopped into small pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour for the sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (I made my own broth)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup half and half (or 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 cup heavy cream)
- Slice the chicken breasts into 1-inch thick strips. Season with salt and pepper and dredge both sides in flour.
2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken and saute until golden. Work in batches to avoid crowding your pan. Transfer chicken to a casserole baking dish.
3. Wipe down the skillet with a paper towel. Add 3 tablespoons of Jolly Canola oil and saute garlic and onion. Add Jolly mushrooms and Jolly green peas until soft (and cooked). Spread mixture over the chicken.
4. For the sauce: using the same pan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of flour until lightly golden (1-2 min). Then add 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and whisk until smooth. Add 1 cup half & half and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Pour sauce over the chicken and Jolly mushrooms and Jolly green peas. Cover with foil and bake chicken casserole at 350˚F for 45 minutes. Serve warm.
Enjoy this delicious Chicken Casserole on your Noche Buena and have a Jolly Christmas everyone!