Green beans casserole is a classic thanksgiving dish in the United States.
OMG…that starting sentence sounded so boring. Sorry that was just….completely wrong!
Allow me to start this article again.
WHERE IS THE FREAKIN MEAT!! (That’s better…)
These were the exact words I used when an American friend recently invited me and my wife over to their Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, they wanted us to try their rather “bland” casserole dish, which happens to be a traditional meal they’ll eat on this special day.
Now don’t get me wrong, their casserole still tasted nice and everything. In fact, it was the first time I ever tried this nationally celebrated dish. But i just couldn’t believe how much space were wasted inside that casserole pot.
I mean (again),
Also, seeing all those lovely FROZEN green beans swimming inside that CANNED creamy mushroom sauce, or soup just weren’t very pleasing to say the least.
Yes, I’m serious…I couldn’t believe my eyes too when I saw his wife opened a CAN of creamy mushroom soup and poured it straight into the pot. I’m not gonna lie because seeing that almost destroyed my appetite.
And if you have been following my website, my food blog or whatever you like to call it. You should know by now that I absolutely hate canned food. No, really…i’m the type who will go through the “trouble” of cooking my own baked beans if I have the time…Yes SERIOUS!
Health aside…canned food just tastes nothing like fresh cooking.
That’s my opinion anyway…
And don’t even get me started on the frozen veggies! Like…REALLY??
Now back to that green bean casserole which I’ve been mocking until I took that very first bite. Boy oh boy…that mouthful almost took me to America, Canada, and back to Sydney…
That delicious sauce (I still couldn’t believe it was canned soup!) followed by layers after layers of roasted garlic, fried onions and then those green beans, mushrooms, that touch of soy sauce, combined and baked perfectly inside that oven for less than an hour.
I mean, I’ve never had anything this simple, yet so delicious and comforting!
I was in love with the combination…well ok, not madly in love because after all….there were no meat, remember?
But the fact that the casserole was so easy to make and tasted so great really impressed me.
And who would have thought that Americans would actually use soy sauce in one of their national dishes. I’m not being racist or anything, but i just seemed more Asian than AMERICAN to me.
Nevertheless, the flavor combinations worked superbly well together and as far as my tongue is concerned, that’s all that matters!
So the next evening after our thanksgiving invitation, i decided to do my own version of green beans casserole because my kids were with my parents at the time, so I really wanted to let them try this amazing meal.
Only this time…well you guessed it, I will be using only FRESH ingredients and then of course…
I will be adding….MEAT!
And what would go better with creamy mushrooms than our all time beloved CHICKEN!
Just think about it, we’ve all tasted creamy chicken mushroom soup, and then there’s the actual chicken mushroom dinner that’s become an all time favourites for many families, including my own.
Only now….we are going to be doing it the “casserole” style!
So here’s the recipe i came up with and the result…well, all i can say is YUMMY!
- Fresh Mushroom - 500g
- Chicken Thigh - 500g
- Fresh Green Beans - 400g
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Garlic - 3 gloves (thinly sliced)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 2 tsp
- Thickened Cream - 200ml
- Fresh Milk - 100ml
- Salt - 1/2 tbsp
- Sugar - 1 tsp
- Soy Sauce - 1 tbsp
- White Pepper - 1 tsp
- Chedder Cheese - 250g (shredded)
Preheat oven at 180 C / 360 F
To prepare the chicken - Cut chicken thigh (500g) into small pieces, approximately 5cm. Place pieces into bowl and rub thoroughly with chicken marinade. Set aside for 30mins.
To prepare mushroom - Wash and drain mushrooms (500g) and cut into quarters. Place into casserole dish and set aside.
To prepare green beans - Wash and drain green beans (400g). Trim and discard both end tips. Cut into 5cm pieces and place into same casserole dish.
To cook the casserole - Place chicken pieces (prepare earlier) into the same casserole dish.
Place casserole marinade into the same dish and mix everything thoroughly.
Place casserole dish into preheated oven and allow to cook for 55 mins.
Take dish out after 55mins, sprinkle grated cheddar cheese (250g) on top and place the whole dish back into the oven.
Remove from oven after 5 mins and your green beans casserole is now ready to serve.
Can I use chicken breast?
Of course, you can pretty much use any part of the chicken as long as you're ok with it. You can even use chicken feet for all I care.
Just one word of advice. If you're going to use chicken breasts, you may want to add some potato starch to marinade the chicken as overcooked chicken breast meat can become quite tough. Adding potato starch or even corn flour during marinading process will help soften the meat texture.
What type of casserole dish are you using?
I'm only using a simple, inexpensive glass transparent casserole dish which you can purchase anywhere.
Where are the fried garlic?
Yeah...I left those out because I was lazy to fry my own. I was and I should have went out and bought some pre-made ones because it would have added a nice crunch into the dish. But I got lazy and it is what it is.
So there you go foodies!
If you have been thinking about making this dish, but unsure about how to use fresh ingredients to do so, then you can try my recipe above.
Although I’m not from the United States and we don’t really celebrate Thanksgivings here in Australia, but I must admit I truly enjoyed making this dish, especially the eating part.
The fact that it was so quick and easy to prepare and make is truly a blessing in the kitchen. I don’t care which country you’re from but I do urge you to give this a go…because trust me, you won’t regret it.
By the way, for anyone who’s currently living in the USA, it’ll be great if you could share with me what you’ll personally add to your green beans casseroles.
I mean, here I’ve added chicken into the mix, but i would love to know what you did to yours so that I can perhaps try some different varieties next time.
Yeah just tell me the combinations you use. For example, greens beans with prawns, beef, lamb, fish….I don’t know, just whatever tickles your tastebuds. Please do share it with me.