Remember Archangel Michael. He fought Lucifer the Angel who defied God and cast him out of Heaven. According to my Byzantine Eastern Catholic calendar, today, November 8, is the feast of St. Michael and the Archangels. However, on the Roman calendar the feast is on September 29. I missed September 29, because I was caring for our newly born baby. So I am glad to have another opportunity to celebrate. I often celebrate feasts choosing one calendar or another, depending on how our lives are going. But I do not consistently choose only the Eastern, or only Rome. We regularly attend a Roman church, because we are 1h45min drive from the nearest Byzantine church. It just makes sense to celebrate Roman Catholic feasts unless Rome does not celebrate certain feasts and then we go Eastern. Anyhow, I wanted to share how I celebrate this feast. I developed this recipe that I think is lovely for the day called, “Archangel Casserole.”
This casserole is symbolic of Angels/Heaven, earth/humanity and Holy Spirit/Holy Trinity. The chicken represents the Angels’ wings and Heaven. The vegetables are earth and humanity. The white sauce is the Holy Spirit, but also has triune ingredients making up the Trinity. (I’m a Catholic nerd. But, it’s a tasty casserole)
Makes 4-6 servings
Ingredients for Casserole:
- 2 cups cooked chicken
- 1 lb. / 16 oz. frozen California blend vegetables
- 3 ½ cups homemade Alfredo sauce
- ½ cup fine breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup parmesan
- 2 T. butter
Ingredients for Alfredo:
- 3 T. butter
- 3 T. white flour
- 3 cups milk
- ½ cup parmesan
- Salt and Pepper
I use leftover roast chicken from one I made the night before, but for a simpler version you could use a 14 oz canned chicken breast or bake a couple breasts in the oven while you prep the other ingredients and sauce. The frozen California blend vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.
Pre-heat the oven to 350oF
Alfredo Sauce Preparation:
Pre-measure the 3 cups of milk and set aside. Melt the butter in a sauce pan (1.5-2 qt. pan) on high heat. Once the butter is melted and frothy, but not browned, add the flour 1 T. at a time whisking continuously until completely blended. Turn down the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the milk. Keep whisking to be sure there are no lumps. Slowly bring sauce to a soft boil. As the sauce begins to thicken add the parmesan and keep stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Mix the chicken and vegetables in a casserole. Pour the Alfredo sauce over the chicken and vegetables. Cover the top of the casserole with bread crumbs and then cover with remaining ¼ cup of parmesan.
Bake 45 minutes. Let stand uncovered for 15 minutes after baking.
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into Hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits, who wander throughout the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.