Chicken. Bacon. Strata. Just saying those words makes my mouth water. You know what’s even better? Making use of that half loaf of sourdough bread that’s been sitting on my counter since I made those toads-in-holes for breakfast.
Thanks to a suggestion from a fellow redditor, I decided to turn all that leftover bread into a mouthwatering chicken bacon strata.
Let me walk you through my take on this classic breakfast dish that’s perfect for dinner!
Here’s What You Need:
- Day-old sourdough bread: The bread serves as the main base of the strata, providing a hearty and flavorful texture to the dish.
- Eggs: The eggs act as a binding agent and provide structure to the strata when mixed with the milk and cheese. They also contribute to the overall richness and flavor.
- Cheddar cheese (shredded): The cheese adds a creamy and savory element to the strata. It melts beautifully and helps to bind the layers together.
- Bacon: The bacon adds a smoky and salty flavor to the dish. It also provides a crispy texture when cooked and adds a delicious savory note to each bite.
- Milk: The milk is combined with the eggs and cheese to create a custard-like mixture. It adds moisture to the dish and helps to soften and soak the bread cubes.
- Cherry tomatoes (chopped): The tomatoes add a burst of freshness and juiciness to the strata. They provide a bright flavor and contrasting texture to the other ingredients.
- Fresh parsley (chopped, optional): Parsley is used as a garnish and adds a pop of freshness and color to the finished dish. It provides a mild herbaceous flavor that complements the other ingredients.
- Salt and pepper: These seasonings enhance the overall taste of the strata, bringing out the flavors of the other ingredients and balancing the dish.
Lets get to it!
To start, grab that loaf of sourdough bread and cut it into 1×1 inch cubes. Meanwhile, fry up the bacon until it becomes nice and crumbly. The aroma alone will make your taste buds dance with joy!
Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Instead of using plain oil, I like to utilize some of that leftover bacon grease to fry up the chicken.
Trust me, it adds an extra layer of flavor that takes this dish to a whole new level.
While the chicken breast is cooking to perfection, take a small bowl and combine the eggs, milk, and cheese. Whisk it all together until you get a smooth and creamy mixture.
Once the chicken is cooked through, go ahead and cut it up into bite-sized pieces. Take a greased glass bread pan and layer the chicken, bread cubes, tomatoes, and bacon. You can dice up the tomatoes if you prefer, but personally, I like to keep them whole to avoid any accidental tomato spearing while enjoying my portion.
Oh, and here’s a pro tip: if you want an extra crunchy top layer, add a few slices of butter here and there.
Trust me, it’s worth it!
Now, it’s time to bring it all together. Pour the egg, milk, and cheese mixture over the layers in the bread pan, ensuring everything gets nicely soaked. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle and meld together. The top layer of bread will also help steam the tomatoes, creating a burst of juiciness in every bite.
Once you’ve given it that short soak, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and slide the pan in. Let it bake for around 35-40 minutes or until the top turns a beautiful golden brown. If you’re a cheese lover like me, feel free to sprinkle on some extra cheese during the last few minutes of baking. Because let’s be honest, can you ever have too much cheese?
And voila! You’ve just created a scrumptious chicken bacon strata that’s ridiculously easy to make. The combination of flavors, from the savory bacon to the tender chicken and the creamy, cheesy goodness, will leave your taste buds singing in harmony.
Tips & Tricks!
- Use day-old or slightly stale bread: Day-old or slightly stale bread works best for this recipe as it holds up well when soaked in the egg and milk mixture. It also adds a nice chewiness to the strata. If you don’t have day-old bread, you can lightly toast fresh bread cubes in the oven before using them.
- Customize the fillings: Feel free to get creative with the fillings. You can add other ingredients such as sautéed onions, bell peppers, spinach, or mushrooms to add more flavor and texture. Don’t be afraid to experiment and tailor the strata to your taste preferences.
- Let it rest before baking: Allowing the strata to sit for about 10 minutes before baking gives the bread cubes a chance to absorb the liquid mixture, resulting in a more evenly soaked and flavorful dish.
- Don’t overcook the strata: Keep an eye on the baking time to avoid overcooking the strata. You want the top layer of bread cubes to be nicely crunchy, but be careful not to leave it in the oven for too long, as it can become dry.
- Serve with a side salad or roasted vegetables: The chicken bacon strata is a versatile dish that pairs well with a fresh side salad or roasted vegetables. The crisp and refreshing flavors of a salad or the caramelized sweetness of roasted veggies complement the richness of the strata.
- Make it ahead: This dish can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated overnight. Simply cover it with plastic wrap or foil and place it in the fridge. In the morning, remove the covering and bake it as directed. This is perfect for a hassle-free brunch or dinner.
- Adjust seasonings to taste: Feel free to adjust the amount of salt and pepper according to your taste preferences. You can also add other herbs or spices to enhance the flavor profile of the strata.
Whether you’re looking for a delightful dinner option or a crowd-pleasing brunch dish, this chicken bacon strata has got you covered.
Plus, it’s a fantastic way to use up that loaf of bread that’s been hanging around.
So, roll up your sleeves, put on your apron, and get ready to enjoy a comforting and satisfying meal that’s sure to impress. Happy cooking, hungry people!
Chicken Bacon Strata
- 1 loaf day-old sour dough bread
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 3 strips bacon
- 4 cups milk
- ¼ cup cherry tomatoes chopped
- fresh parsley chopped for topping, optional
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Cut the sourdough bread into 1×1 inch cubes.
- Slice the bacon into bite-sized pieces and cook them in a pan until they become crumbly. Remove the cooked bacon from the pan. In the same pan, using the remaining bacon grease, cook the chicken breast.
- In a small bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and shredded cheddar cheese. Grease a glass bread pan and create a layer of bread cubes at the bottom. Then, add the cooked chicken, bacon, chopped cherry tomatoes, and fresh parsley (if using) on top of the bread cubes. Finish with another layer of bread cubes.
- Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the layers of bread cubes, ensuring that it is evenly distributed. Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes, allowing the bread to absorb the liquid mixture.
- Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 35 minutes or until the top layer of bread cubes becomes nicely crunchy and the egg mixture is bubbling. Once cooked, remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Slice, serve, and garnish with additional fresh parsley if desired. Season with salt and pepper according to taste preferences. Enjoy!