New moms have a lot of adjustments in the first couple of months. With my first baby, I was completely unprepared with meals. I never had made a freezer meal in my life, and seldom used my crockpot. Thankfully, we had an awesome community that delivered amazing meals for several weeks.
I’m taking a new mom a meal this week and decided on this comfort classic, spiced up just a tad. Of course, many people say it’s best to avoid strong flavors and spicy foods altogether, but if you typically enjoy it (raising my hand), I say go for it. Since I know this mom doesn’t have a problem with spice, I decided on this comfort classic with a twist.
Za’atar Chicken Casserole
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and generously grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter. Bring the chicken broth and ½ cup milk to a low boil in a saucepan. Whisk the other ½ cup milk, ½ cup butter and flour in a large skillet to make a roux; add the mixture to the boiling liquid and whisk until a smooth creamy sauce forms.
In a large bowl, mix the sauce along with one cup water and one cup of quinoa. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Chop the chicken breasts into thin strips and lay the chicken breasts strips over the top of the quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with the za’atar seasoning. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
While the casserole is in the oven, steam the broccoli for 5-7 minutes, or until it turns bright green.
Remove the casserole from the oven, check the mixture by stirring it around in the pan, and if needed, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to get the right consistency. When the quinoa and chicken are cooked and the sauce is thickened, add the broccoli and a little bit of water (up to one cup) until the consistency is creamy and smooth and you can stir it up easily in the pan. Top with the cheese and bake for 5 minutes, or just long enough to melt the cheese.
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
½ cup flour
½ cup butter
2 cups water, divided
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons za’atar seasoning
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
3 cups fresh broccoli florets
What is your favorite thing to make a new mom, or a memorable meal you received?