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Author Notes: Kentucky is famous for the Hot Brown, an open-face sandwich created long ago by a chef at the Brown Hotel. Here is our family's version of the Hot Brown as a casserole. Great for entertaining because you can make it ahead and then bake when you're ready. —Louisa
- 4 cups toasted 1" bread cubes cut from good bread
- 3-4 chicken breasts, roasted and large dice/shredded
- 1 cup crumbled cooked bacon
- 1 carton cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar
- 1 stick butter
- 3/4 cup flour
- 7 cups milk
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 lg. eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- Layer toasted bread cubes in bottom of a large casserole dish. Layer the roasted, chopped/shredded chicken over the bread cubes. Salt and pepper to taste.
- To make the sauce, melt butter over low heat in bottom of large pot. Whisk in the flour. Slowly add the milk, whisking as you go. Turn heat to medium. Add the grated parmesan cheese and continue whisking. When mixture begins to thicken, remove from stove. Whisk a cup of the mixture slowly to the beaten eggs, then pour egg mixture slowly back into the large pot and turn to low heat. Whisk until mixture thickens, but do not boil. Remove from stove, add salt and pepper.
- Pour sauce over the chicken and bread cubes. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over this, then add the sliced tomatoes and top with the bacon crumbles.
- The Hot Brown can be baked at 350 uncovered for 30- 40 minutes, then broiled for a minute or so if you like a browned top. If serving later, cover and chill casserole, then bake uncovered 45-55 min., finishing with a quick broil.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for The Recipe You Want To Be Remembered For