Creamy chicken, bacon, mushroom and halloumi bake

Some recipes stand the test of time. This recipe is my grandmother’s…she used to make it for my family when she would come and stay with us when we were little and every time I tasted it I thought it was the yummiest thing in the world. Layers of chicken, ham, and halloumi cheese, topped with a bechamel and baked until golden. YUMMO. The thing is, my grandmother never wrote down her savoury recipes only her sweets, and I haven’t regularly stood with her in the kitchen while cooking since i was around 6.  A few years ago, my Dad recreated the recipe through experimentation –  and we learned a lot. Halloumi is quite a salty cheese, and bacon is pretty salty too so be careful with your seasonings so that it doesn’t end up being salt central. Through the years we have added a few modern touche to the recipe (ie mushrooms) and substituted the cured ham for bacon. Its a dish that pleases my whole family, young and old. I hope you enjoy

Chicken bake happily sitting in the oven until the top is golden brown

Chicken bake happily sitting in the oven until the top is golden brown

Ingredients

For the bechamel:
40 g butter
40 g flour
2 cups milk

For the chicken*:
A whole chicken, quartered
1 Onion
2 bay leaf
2 cardamom Pods
Salt and pepper to season

For the rest of the dish
4-6 slices bacon
200 g sliced mushrooms
1 x 250 g packet halloumi cheese

To make the bechamel
Melt the butter in a pan and add the flour and cook for a few minutes
gradually add the milk (ideally the milk is at room temperature or slightly warmed in the microwave) and whisk all the while until the bechamel starts to thicken. Season with salt and white pepper

To make the chicken
Boil the chicken in a pot full of water, seasoned and spices added. *You can use a roast chicken from the shops instead (skin off)
Once it is cooked, remove from the water and flake into pieces

To assemble
In a large an deep casserole dish, layer the ingredients.

Start with a layer of chicken, followed by bacon, halloumi, mushrooms and repeat. You should get at least two layers of each ingredient. Follow the last layer with all the bechamel

Bake in a 180 degree Celsius oven until the bechamel is golden brown and bubbling.

Chicken mushroom bacon halloumi and bechamel bake

Chicken mushroom bacon halloumi and bechamel bake

Happy cooking xx

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