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Old 04-07-2008, 11:15 PM   #1
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Casserole Topping

Tonight I made a Casserole consiting of shredded sauted chicken, shredded cheddar, and a prepared package of instant Augratin potatos. I got the last minute idea to top this with bread crumbs (which I assumed meant the kind used to make breaded chicken). The casserole itself was delicious, however, the fine bread crumb/ shredded cheddar topping didn't form the hard covering I had hoped. I was wondering if anyone knows how to make a hard and crispy topping? Should I have added butter or egg? I just recently started attempting to cook so please avoid anything too difficult. Thanks,

Beth

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Old 04-08-2008, 12:02 AM   #2
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My favorite casserole topping is crushed cracker crumbs (Ritz or Club, not saltines) mixed with butter (about 60 crackers for every stick of butter), then baked on top. It gets nice and crunchy. Those crackers add a much better flavor than bread crumbs! In fact, I sub cracker crumbs for bread crumbs in pretty much every recipe... it's so handy and tastes better, I think.
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:00 AM   #3
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I agree that crunched up Ritz crackers work great as a topping-- crunchy and buttery. I like to leave my crumbs a little coarse for a little extra crunch.

If you're using regular breadcrumbs, though, try not to buy the really fine kind-- they stay dry and don't get crispy the way you want. I like to mix coarse breadcrumbs with melted butter and Parmesan (and some herbs, if you like), and put the casserole under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to crisp up the topping. Watch that it doesn't burn, though.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beth.sloan View Post
Tonight I made a Casserole consiting of shredded sauted chicken, shredded cheddar, and a prepared package of instant Augratin potatos. I got the last minute idea to top this with bread crumbs (which I assumed meant the kind used to make breaded chicken). The casserole itself was delicious, however, the fine bread crumb/ shredded cheddar topping didn't form the hard covering I had hoped. I was wondering if anyone knows how to make a hard and crispy topping? Should I have added butter or egg? I just recently started attempting to cook so please avoid anything too difficult. Thanks,

Beth
Hi Beth,
please accept this answer in the way it was intended, to be helpful to you.

Seems to me the 'recipe' is a little odd, even though you say it tasted fine. A casserole is a collection of ingredients set in water and fat/oil, and baked in a low oven for a while. This sounds very different from your example. Did you add anything else to the chicken? Sauted chicken topped with cheese and potato does not sound like casserole ingredients.
The problem is that a casserole is cooked at lowish temperatures, whereas you want a crispy topping, which requires a highish temperature. There is a way around this. If you want to use chicken, add some vegetable/s to it, say tomato, carrots, onions, cook until the chicken is done, then place these ingredients in a casserole dish with a thickish gravy, add a mashed potato topping, make furrows in the mash, then sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and finely grated cheese. Put under a grill/broiler/salamander until the cheese melts and browns, and the potatoes turn golden at their edges, somethng like this that I prepared earlier:



hope that helps, and good luck with the cooking.
cheers
Waaza
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:32 AM   #5
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crushed cornflakes mixed w melted butter works nicely too.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:41 AM   #6
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I often cook ham in with the packaged Au Gratin Potato mix, and it's really good. I'll have to try it with chicken.

For a crunchy topping, I like crushed buttery crackers best, but crushed potato chips are also tasty. If using bread crumbs, I like to make my own. Let the bread sit out for a while to dry out, then run it through the food processor. Melt a little butter in a skillet, add the crumbs, toss with the butter and let them toast a little.
Another idea for topping (although you probably don't want to use two box mixes for one dish) is unprepared stuffing mix. I got the idea from my daughter, when she used it for green bean casserole instead of the usual canned French fried onions. Speaking of which...the onion rings might be good on your chicken casserole!
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:25 PM   #7
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My step mother used to use potato chips as a crunchy topping. I remember liking it as a child but..haven't tried it since.
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Old 04-20-2008, 06:54 PM   #8
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crushed garlic butter croutons work great
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Old 04-20-2008, 07:55 PM   #9
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My guess is you added too much cheese.
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Old 04-20-2008, 08:59 PM   #10
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crushed garlic butter croutons work great
Croutons? Nver heard or thought of that what a great idea.
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