• Karine Wlasichuk

Creamy Mushroom Chicken Casserole: Glori-Gloriaaaaa

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

Yes this dish is called Chicken Gloria and the song Glori-Gloriaaaaa has been stuck in my head all morning. There is no link whatsoever between a lovely woman named Gloria who coined the name for this creamy, heartwarming recipe, and the song sung to give hope to young militants in Lebanon back in the 1980s. I say sung and not written, as the version I know of it is French and was to help the troops.

Here's the thing. This song was originally written by Laura Branigan as a cover for the Italian song Gloria by Umberto Tozzi (both don't matter much to me but they have to be mentioned as they are the source of this beauty). Where is gets interesting for this mom is when it was sung by French singer Sheila, honouring the young 20 year old militants during the Libenese war who died for their freedom. She sung it live at the Champs Élysées back then and well, I promise I'm not currently pregnant, but I cry at least once a listen. The French version is a completely altered song, with lyrics about courage during wartime, about losing friends and the lack of choice wars force on their citizens.

I listened to it after reading about its entire meaning and cried again- this is no Tonya Harding on ice song. I also felt pretty stupid about not knowing its original intent? Then I realised it wasn't, simply a wonderful retake? Moving on from this history lesson. But seriously go back and enjoy its message of hope and strength- Sheila does it better so go learn French.

Onto this creamy mushroom chicken bake and why you want to drown your next rice bowl/mashed potatoes in its sauce:

You will need,

Chicken thighs (3-4, most recipes will recommend breasts but I had none on hand)

Sea salt (I used herbs-infused one)

Black pepper

Flour (1 cup, to coat the chicken)

Olive oil (so much)

Mushrooms (of your choice, 1 package/lbs, thinly sliced)

Yellow onion (1, diced)

Garlic (3- more like 5 cloves, minced)

Optional: dried oregano (for reasoning)

For the sauce,

Butter (1 tbsp- I used herbs-infused buter)

Flour (3 tbsp)

Chicken broth (1 1/2 cup)

Lemon juice (1 tbsp)

Milk (1 cup, although most sites recommend half of it being heavy cream, for which I added one additional tbsp of flour into the milk to make it thicker- I don't mess with cream)

For the mashed potatoes,

Scallions (3, thinly sliced)

Butter (1 tbsp, or 1/4 cup of milk works just fine)

Sea salt

Black pepper

5-6 regular-sized potatoes (peeled, chopped, mashed)

A few steps,

1. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and coat them in flour on both sides.

2. In a large pan over medium-heat, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and sear the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side. It simply needs to be a little golden, it will cook through later on. Transfer to a baking dish.

3. In a separate skillet (or same, just scrape off the flour), heat 3 tbsp of olive oil and sautée mushrooms, garlic and onions with salt and pepper. Stir for 5-7 minutes, or until tender and golden (another sign is when onions are translucent). Pour over the chicken.

4. In a separate skillet (last one, promise!), melt butter over medium heat and stir in the flour (the entire process takes 2 minutes).

5. Pour in chicken broth and lemon juice and whisk until uniform. Add milk and let simmer whilst stirring and adding salt/pepper to taste. Once you are happy with the texture, pour over the chicken-mushroom mix in the baking dish.

6. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 50 minutes (covered with foil). I personally either serve it over mashed scallion potatoes or couscous depending on my mood!

A warning: the pictures only keep getting appetising as you scroll down. I suggest looking with something to eat close by.

Bad lighting, great taste: