I get that this has a quite broad/random/boring name, but I promise you that it’s so much more delicious than the title suggests. After Miss 5 was born some of the lovely Mums at our local playcentre put together a dinner roster, and this is one of the meals we were given. I enjoyed it so much that I hassled the maker for the recipe! The name came from her husband… it was his favourite meal and it had chicken, so it became Chicken Favourite. Ta da!
I like to double the recipe so that there’s plenty of leftovers. Mr Mama is in charge of making dinner two days a week while I’m working, and I like to make this the day before so that I know there’s something for dinner that involved more than just opening a can. You know how we all dream about what we’d do after winning lotto? Well aside from the fantastic new house, helping out friends and family, taking that round-the-world holiday and loading up a platinum credit card… I dream of sending Mr Mama to cooking school! Yes, some days it’s that bad.
The problem with doubling the recipe is that it needs a lot of chicken, and meat isn’t exactly a cheap staple, so it generally only gets made after Pak n Save has a ‘meat week’. I also like bulking it out with whatever veges are in season. I’ve used spinach, mushrooms, leeks and peas today but it’s also really nice with potato, kumara, courgettes, peppers, grated carrot, spring onions etc. Also try it using leftover roast chicken meat… it has a different flavour (I prefer using non-roasted chicken for this recipe) but it’s still good and is a great way of stretching out a roast chook. I usually serve it simply over pasta.
Here’s the recipe…
- 1250g cooked chopped chicken (steamed or poached is best)
- 90g butter
- 4oz plain flour
- 500ml milk
- 500ml chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup grated cheese
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 egg, beaten
- Optional veges… onion, peas, kumara, potato, leek, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, courgette, cauliflower, spring onions etc
- 1 cup soft breadcrumbs
- A few handfuls slivered almonds
Steam or poach the chopped chicken then put to one side. Cook any optional veges then put them to one side.
Melt the butter, turn down the heat a bit, add the flour and mix. Slowly add the milk and the stock, stirring continuously until it starts to thicken.
Add the mayonnaise, cheese, lemon juice, egg, chopped chicken and any veges and combine. Pour into an oven proof dish. Sprinkle slivered almonds on top, mixing them in just a little, then scatter over the breadcrumbs.
Bake at 180C degrees for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden.