This particular casserole (affectionately renamed "Chicken Curry" by our family) was a favorite of my older brother and I think he requested it for his birthday dinner every year that I can remember. It was also a "company dinner" staple, being all fancy with the slivered almonds on top and easy to make enough for a crowd. The broccoli and chicken in a creamy curry-tinged sauce is perfectly paired with the crunchy cheesy-almond topping.
I still have vivid snapshots of memories stirring the sauce, chopping the chicken, pouring steaming broccoli into the baking dish, grating the cheese and tearing up the bread for the topping. So not only is this a tasty, satisfying meal, it also holds those special memory triggers reserved for the beloved foods of our childhood.
That being said, I did however, lighten it up just a teensy bit. As a kid I thought nothing of dumping a heaping scoop of mayo into this delectable dish, but as I am a little bit more health conscious (and, let's be honest, the main reason was because my mayo jar was almost empty) I decided to sub the mayo for fat free greek yogurt. Zero fat, plus great proteins and other good-for-you stuff and I couldn't taste the difference. Still the same great creamy sauce! Yay!
1 10 oz. package of frozen broccoli
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup mayo or greek yogurt
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 TB melted butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Hot cooked rice
Preheat oven to 350. Cook broccoli according to package directions.
Place broccoli in greased 8x8 pan. Layer chicken over broccoli.
In a medium bowl, combine mayo (or yogurt), soup, lemon juice and curry and mix until well blended. Pour over chicken. In another bowl, combine butter, bread crumbs, cheese and almonds and mix. Sprinkle over the top of other ingredients.
Bake 45 min to an hour or until sauce is bubbly and topping is golden. Serve over hot cooked rice, if desired.