Christmas Morning Chicken and Artichoke Strata

12 large eggs
2 cups half and half
1 T. dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsps. Kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 ½ lbs. loaf soft Italian or French bread, cut into 1” cubes
2 T. butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 lb. boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” pieces
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
15 oz. can artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
1 red pepper, cored and diced
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
4 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
½ cup chopped fresh basil

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, half and half, seasonings, salt, and pepper. Toss in the cubed bread. Allow bread to soak for 10-15 minutes while preparing the remaining ingredients.

In a skillet, heat butter and sauté the onion until soft. Stir in the chicken; cook on medium heat until golden brown on all sides. Add the mushrooms. Cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in the artichoke hearts, red pepper and parsley.

Spray a 9” x 13” x 3” baking dish with vegetable spray. Toss the chicken mixture with the bread and eggs. Add the grated cheese and mix well. Pour into prepared dish. Cover loosely with foil. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.

Bake in preheated 350o oven for 1 hour; remove foil. Top with sliced mozzarella and chopped tomatoes. Return to oven for 10 minutes for cheese to melt. Remove from oven, top with fresh basil. Cut into 12 pieces and serve at once.

NOTE: Perfect for a large brunch buffet. Serve with sliced fruit, sausages, bacon, or ham slices and large glasses of fresh fruit juices.

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