Chicken Noodle Casserole
Cooking the egg noodles until just al dente and then shocking them in cold water prevents them from overcooking.
- 12 ounces (7 3/4 cups) wide egg noodles
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise and trimmed 4 ounces deli American cheese, chopped coarse
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
- 25 Ritz crackers, crushed coarse
Adapted from cookscountry.com
Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. Add noodles and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until just al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water until cool, about 2 minutes. Drain again and set aside.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in now empty pot over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl; set aside. In now-empty pot, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in half-and-half and broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes.
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Remove pot from heat, transfer chicken to plate, and shred into bite-size pieces once cool enough to handle. Whisk American and cheddar cheeses into sauce until smooth. Stir shredded chicken, noodles, bell pepper mixture, peas, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 1/4 teaspoons pepper into cheese sauce.
Transfer mixture to 13 by 9-inch baking dish and top with crackers. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let casserole cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve.