This is a pretty easy meal to put together and looks lovely. This is a regular request from my kids.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
1 whole cooked chicken, bones removed, meat diced or shredded (5-6 cups)
1/2 lb. very thinly sliced deli-style honey ham, rough chopped
1/4 lb. thin sliced baby swiss cheese
4 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. flour
3 cups whole milk (must be whole milk)
2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1 1/2 tsp. crushed dried parsley
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x13" baking dish. Place chicken in the bottom of the dish, scatter the ham over the chicken and lay the swiss cheese over the top of the ham.
2. To cook the sauce: Melt the butter in a large sauce pot over medium heat. When butter is melted, quickly stir in the flour to form a smooth paste. Do not brown. Once the roux is smooth and bubbly, slowly pour in the cold milk while stirring briskly to make a smooth sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Stir in the lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt, smoked paprika and pepper. Bring sauce back to a low boil and turn off heat. Pour sauce evenly over the casserole, being certain to get some of the sauce around the edges of the pan.
3. Combine the melted butter, bread crumbs and parsley together. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the casserole.
4. Bake casserole uncovered for 45 minutes until hot and bubbly throughout and topping has turned a light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes prior to serving.