Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Skillet and Mini Ramekin Chicken Casseroles

By Stacie Morgan, February 2, 2017, Recipes

Welcome to Cooking with Less Kilowatts! There is nothing better than sitting down in the evening to enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal. But did you know that changing what you do in the kitchen can make an impact on your monthly electricity bill? Each week, I will help you find ways to cook using less energy while still getting a satisfying, flavorful meal. Trust me – I won’t just tell you to do everything in the microwave. I’ll help you cut down on your energy consumption.

Have you and your family been craving a hearty, filling comfort food recipe to make in less than 30 minutes that is satisfying during these cold winter months? Look no further than this week’s speedy twist on a classic chicken pot pie.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Skillet and Mini Ramekin Chicken Casseroles | Bounce Energy Blog

There have been some simple changes to a classic preparation combined with my own flavor profile creation to create a fast, easy, low energy use recipe that won’t leave you missing the pie crust or feeling like you cheated the recipe by swapping rotisserie chicken for homemade.

The rotisserie chicken swap is one of my favorite go-to substitutions for low energy use recipes because I don’t have to spend any time cooking the chicken, I don’t have to buy a home rotisserie, and the price is almost exactly on par with buying an uncooked whole chicken. Use both the white breast meat and dark thigh meat when preparing this recipe for pure volume and some of the hearty, meaty flavor of the thigh meat. This recipe has a lot of chicken compared to other recipes that use a lot of potatoes or vegetables.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Skillet and Mini Ramekin Chicken Casseroles | Bounce Energy Blog

This is a protein packed winter meal that can feed an army (because it makes about 12 servings). This saves very well, heats up well, and is an all around time saver.

The great hack I used to speed up the skillet preparation is to first utilize my microwave to par-cook and soften the potatoes, carrots, and celery in chicken stock. Then I use the hot chicken stock drained from the vegetables to add into the skillet as well.

The last item and energy saving element to this recipe is the topping. Instead of baking puff pastry for the top, or stuffing the skillet chicken mixture inside pie crust and baking that for at least another half hour, I use the food processor to make a delicious buttery, garlicky, cheesy cracker crumble topping that yields a crunchy texture full of flavor! If you want to skip the topping all together and just serve the skillet casserole right into bowls, that works too!

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Skillet and Mini Ramekin Chicken Casseroles | Bounce Energy Blog

Skillet and Mini Ramekin Chicken Casseroles

Filling Ingredients (12 servings):

  • 3 c. Diced rotisserie chicken meat (breast and thigh meat)
  • 2 c. Diced mini golden potatoes
  • ½ c. Diced celery
  • 1 c. Steamable peas in a bag
  • 2 ¾ c. Peeled, diced carrots
  • 2 ¼ c. Chicken stock
  • 1 ½ tsp. Sea salt
  • ½ tsp. Black pepper
  • ½ tsp. Cajun creole seasoning
  • ¼ tsp. Garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. Paprika
  • ½ tsp. Ground thyme
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Fresh chopped Sage
  • 3 Minced garlic cloves
  • ½ c. Diced white onions
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp. Butter
  • 2 tbsp. All purpose flour
  • 1 c. Half and half

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 Sleeve golden crackers (approx. 3 dozen)
  • 1 c. Shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp. Melted butter
  • ½ tsp. Parsley flakes
  • ½ tsp. Garlic powder

Directions:

1) Add the diced potatoes, carrots, and celery to a large microwave safe bowl.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Skillet and Mini Ramekin Chicken Casseroles | Bounce Energy Blog

2) Pour the chicken stock over the vegetables, top with two damp paper towels, and microwave for 8 minutes. Steam the peas in their bag for half the directed time.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Skillet and Mini Ramekin Chicken Casseroles | Bounce Energy Blog

3) Dice the chicken, chop the sage, and create the seasoning mixture by combining the salt, pepper, creole seasoning, garlic powder, paprika, and ground thyme.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Skillet and Mini Ramekin Chicken Casseroles | Bounce Energy Blog

4) Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the butter, minced garlic, and diced onions. Sauté for 5 minutes.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Skillet and Mini Ramekin Chicken Casseroles | Bounce Energy Blog

5) Add the microwaved potatoes, carrots, and celery to the skillet along with the sage and seasoning mixture. Mix together with the onions and garlic.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Skillet and Mini Ramekin Chicken Casseroles | Bounce Energy Blog

6) Pour in Worcestershire sauce and cook while intermittently stirring for 7-8 minutes over medium heat until the potatoes are nice and soft.

7) Add the flour next and toss to coat everything in the flour. Let it cook for 1 minute, then pour in the chicken stock.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Skillet and Mini Ramekin Chicken Casseroles | Bounce Energy Blog

8) Stir everything together until bubbling and sauce is thickening.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Skillet and Mini Ramekin Chicken Casseroles | Bounce Energy Blog

9) Add the chicken, steamed peas, and half and half. Cook until sauce is thick and everything is combined.

10) Place all the topping ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Skillet and Mini Ramekin Chicken Casseroles | Bounce Energy Blog

11) Spoon filling mixture into mini ramekins (or one big casserole dish), spoon topping on top, and broil on low for a couple minutes to crisp, or bake at 400°F for 9 minutes.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Skillet and Mini Ramekin Chicken Casseroles | Bounce Energy Blog

Check in next week for another Cooking with Less Kilowatts series entry ready to help you create delicious, homemade recipes while keeping energy use and effort to a minimum!

Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan

Be Sociable, Share!

About 

Stacie is a Texas A&M graduate using her animal science education and passion for food to get creative in the kitchen. She previously worked in business before becoming a mom to a special little boy. She's excited to share recipes her family enjoys at home - and they may even help you save energy and be more green in the kitchen.

Tags: , , , ,