When you’re running low on time, sometimes you need to prep ahead to get yourself out the door. This Make-Ahead Chicken can be chilled overnight, so all you need to do the next day is pop it in the oven.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Chilling Time: 12 hours
- Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Total Time: 13 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6
- Category: Entrées
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 (10.5-ounce) can cream of celery soup
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
- 2 cups medium shells pasta (about 5 ounces), uncooked
- 1 (3.4-ounce) sleeve Ritz crackers, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Sprigs of fresh parsley, for garnish
- Place the chicken in a small saucepan and cover with 2 1/2 cups of water. Add the salt, pepper, and bay leaf and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and strain and measure the liquids—you should have 2 cups; add water if necessary to make that amount.
- Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch cubes and place in a large bowl with half the cheddar, the cream of celery soup, and mustard. Add the reserved broth, mixed vegetables, and pasta shells, and stir until well
- Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray and pour the mixture into it, adding the remaining cheddar on top. Cover tightly and chill overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Uncover the dish and bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the crackers, then pour the butter over all. Bake for another 15 minutes until the ﬁlling is bubbling and the topping is lightly browned. Garnish with parsley and serve.