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Chicken, Peppers & Pasta Casserole
1 h 15 m
“You can assemble this healthy chicken casserole before you leave for a party and pop it in the oven at the host's house. Or bake it at home and bring it along—it's delicious at room temperature too.”
12 ounces whole-wheat fusilli
16 mini sweet peppers
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into ¾-inch pieces
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
½ teaspoon ground pepper
2 medium fennel bulbs, chopped, plus ¼ cup chopped fronds
⅓ cup finely chopped shallot
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup crème fraîche
½ cup chopped fresh chives, divided
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup Kalamata olives, chopped
½ cup panko breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
1Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside.
2Meanwhile, position a rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Coat the foil with cooking spray.
3Place peppers on one side of the prepared baking sheet. Toss chicken, 1 tablespoon oil, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Place the chicken in an even layer on the other half of the baking sheet. Broil, turning once, until the peppers start to char on both sides and the chicken is no longer pink in the middle, 4 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
4Preheat oven to 400°F.
5Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fennel and shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add flour and stir to coat. Add broth and wine and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in crème fraîche, ¼ cup chives, lemon juice, the fennel fronds and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Transfer to the bowl with the pasta.
6Trim and quarter the peppers. Add the peppers, chicken and olives to the pasta; stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a 9-by-13-inch pan (or similar-size 3-quart baking dish). Combine panko with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the casserole.
7Bake the casserole until hot, about 30 minutes. Serve topped with the remaining ¼ cup chives.