Chicken Asparagus Gratin

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Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1? pieces
  • 8 button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 2% milk, divided
  • 1 cup half-and-half or 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned dried bread crumbs
  • Directions

    Move oven rack to top third of oven. Preheat oven to 400°. Mix chicken, asparagus, and mushrooms in large roasting pan or on rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Roast in top third of oven, turning once or twice, just until chicken is no longer pink and asparagus is almost tender, about 5 minutes. Scrape into 1 ½ -quart shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with scallions. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk until smooth. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Gradually whisk in half-and-half or milk until smooth and bubbly. Cook until thick like gravy, about 2 minutes. Stir in thyme and pour over chicken mixture. In small bowl, combine Parmesan and bread crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over top and bake until bubbly and golden, about 35 minutes.
    Tip: To trim asparagus, hold one end of an asparagus spear in both hands and bend stalk. The spear will naturally break toward bottom of stalk where it becomes tough. Cut asparagus on the diagonal for a more decorative look.
    This comfort food satisfies straight from the oven. Use half-and-half in the white sauce for extra richness, but if you want this a little lighter, use low-fat milk instead.

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