Sunday, March 22, 2009

CSA week 16 - Summer squash chicken bake

Just a simple recipe as I've got to get to work. And frankly, I don't think summer squash is up to complex preparations. It'll just fall apart and turn into mildly-flavored mush.

This is a slight variation on this recipe. I wanted to make it more of a main dish and had just finished making a batch of chicken broth so I added in some of the boiled chicken and substituted in a little broth for the water.

1 pound yellow summer squash, chopped
1/4 cup water or chicken broth
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1. In a saucepan, combine the squash, water, onion and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until squash is tender. Remove from the heat; cool.

2. Stir in the chicken, egg, bread crumbs, butter and pepper. Transfer to a greased 1-qt. baking dish; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is melted. Broil for a couple more minutes to get a nice crust.

I was impressed by how well the dish holds together physically considering how much liquid there was in the pan. The texture was kind of bread-pudding-esque with the squash, bolstered by the breadcrumbs, acting as the starch. I didn't know squash could do that.

As for flavor, not bad, but the squash is so mild it's lost behind the chicken and cheese. Well, maybe not behind. If you eat a piece by itself you can recognize the light buttery flavor as infused throughout dish. That said, if you're going to add meat (and I think it would be a fine sidedish without, although I'd want to add a little paprika or mustard or something for a little extra zip), halve what I added and consider ham instead of chicken. The choice of cheese is important too. Something less robust than the Dubliner I used would be best: a young Cheddar or maybe Muenster or Edam.

And if I had read the comments on yesterday's post sooner I would have known to add corn and peppers which would have gone just dandily with the other flavors. I'm probably going cook some up and add them to the leftovers before they go into the freezer.

1 comment:

kat said...

I need to remember this when we have too much summer squash later this year