Thursday, August 13, 2009
Hen in a Tree Casserole
Multiply Meals are so great to have waiting in the freezer on busy nights. Then there are the times I spend a bit of extra time to prepare three entrees. Tonight is one of those times. Hen in a Tree is a delicious, creamy chicken casserole that is simple to throw together. The only time consuming part is dicing five pounds of baked chicken. Once you have your chicken cubes, the rest goes together so quickly.
One question you may ask, especially on hot summer evenings, is do I cook all three, or assemble, then freeze to cook later? The answer is either--do whichever you prefer. Tonight, I only had this one recipe going, so I chose to bake all three at the same time. That way, after they are frozen, they will be super quick to reheat for another dinner. I will have the option of rewarming in the microwave, the oven, or even cutting the casserole into serving pieces and heating individually. That is the best choice if you ever want to use a Multiply Meals casserole for lunches.
On the other hand, if I have other projects going on in the kitchen--especially on a prep day--I may bake only the casserole we intend to eat that day. The other two can be assembled, then frozen to bake completely on the day they will be served. This is a good choice when the ingredients may dry out with too much baking. It also saves time on the prep day. It will take a little longer to get food on the table when you do serve it, but it will be just as simple. Any of the casseroles in the book that don't contain an egg base are good choices to assemble and freeze to complete the baking. Quiche type recipes should be pre-baked. Hen in a Tree, with its cream cheese sauce, is good either way.
Now that dinner is over and boys have happy bellies, it is time for me to get back in the kitchen and wrap the extra two casseroles for the freezer. I left the blueberries on the counter when I made the fruit skewers. Even though I have a tough time getting cantaloupe into my guys, these fresh blueberries are disappearing fast. Better go!