Chicken-Ham Russian

The following recipe hails from the first cookbook* I bought, now crumbling, but still always ready at hand in my kitchen. The only mystery in this dish is the reference to Russian style in the title. I hardly ever cook it for just 2 of us having a quiet dinner at home. It is for special occasions.

I have changed it only a little to reduce the fat and carb contents.

  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 3 tbsp <butter>
  • 8 oz lower G. I. rotini pasta
  • ½ lb shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups chicken, cooked, diced
  • 2 cups ham, diced
  • 2 cups sauce Béchamel
  • 1 cup cream, light
  • 1 cup Swiss cheese, grated

Sauté the onion in the butter until limp; remove and reserve. Cook and drain the pasta. Wash and slice the mushrooms. Brown the mushrooms in the <butter>. Add the onion, chicken, ham, half the Sauce Béchamel and half the cream. Add the remaining sauce to the cooked noodles. Layer the meat mixture and noodles alternately in a greased 2½-quart casserole. Top with the cheese. Bake 25 minutes in a moderate oven, 350°F.

Chicken-Ham Florentine

The preceding recipe can be presented on a bed of spinach, in what the French call à la Florentine.

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced,
  • 2 10 oz package frozen spinach

Add the garlic after the onion has become limp and cook for another 2 minutes. Then proceed with the Chicken Ham Russian recipe to the point of layering the ingredients.

Cook the spinach according to package directions, drain, put in a strainer, and press out as much of the liquid from the spinach as is possible using the back of a spoon.

Layer the spinach in the casserole first, with the remaining ingredients on top. Proceed to bake 25 minutes in a moderate oven, 350°F.