Easy peasy Chicken Casserole

Okey dokey – if you are a food snob or vegetarian, move long, nothing to see here. If you do like easy meals, this is for you. I think this is probably THE chicken casserole for all Southern potlucks, church dinners, food to take to a family in time of bereavement, Sunday dinner, company dinner, family dinner. And…if it is good enough to make a daily appearance on the buffet at the Blue Willow Inn in Social Circle, Georgia, it’s good enough for me.

Don’t let the canned soups put you off. You can certainly use the low sodium, reduced fat versions of them, or if you just have lots of time, your own sauce, and please, feel free to use fat free/reduced fat sour cream and heart smart kind of margarine. Although to be honest, I’d rather eat some forthright butter than artificial margarine with all the unpronounceable ingredients – but that is just me.  You can also reduce the amount of butter by up to one-half.

You can use leftover chicken, turkey, a rotisserie chicken from the grocer or of course, your own poached chicken breasts, skin and bones removed. I buy chicken breasts on sale, boil, de-skin, de-done and seal up in 2 cup portions so I always have chicken on hand for casseroles, salads, and chicken salad. You can also use broth made from boullion or what I really love and always keep on hand, is a chicken or turkey base – the kind that is a paste and comes in a jar and can found at your local grocery store.

Additional seasonings can be added: sautéed onion, celery, chopped parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, sprinkle of ground cayenne pepper. You can also put in a layer (at the bottom) vegetables: blanched asparagus, thawed frozen or blanched broccoli, thawed mixed veggies. This casserole is your canvas – use your own palate of flavors and ingredients to make it unique. Whole cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts can be used for a nice company presentation. But folks seem to like it best in its simple, original downhome glory.

This week I will be having this for dinner along with Waldorf salad, and pumpkin bread for dessert. It’s getting cool down here below the Mason-Dixon and time for warm comfort food. Oh my goodness, I can smell this cooking now.  Y’all enjoy.


Chicken Casserole
1 (10-3/4 ounce) can of cream of chicken soup
1 (10-3/4 ounce) can of cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1 cup chicken broth
4 cups of chopped or shredded, cooked chicken
1-1/2 sleeves of “buttery” crackers or Ritz, if you have to have a name brand
1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, melted

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the soups, sour cream and chicken broth. Add other seasonings as desired, taste and adjust; set aside. Place chicken into the bottom of the prepared casserole dish and cover with the soup mixture. In a separate small bowl, crumble the crackersand mix with melted butter; spread on top of the casserole. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees F for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until casserole is bubbly and cracker topping has browned. Remove and let rest 5 minutes before serving. Can be served as is, or spooned over cooked rice or noodles.   A light sprinkle of cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese the last few minutes is a good addition.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bernice
    Oct 05, 2014 @ 19:41:24

    Sounds wonderful. I enjoy the “crunch” of crackers in a dish. Are your temperatures cooling down so you can make your wonderful casseroles? It has been cold, rainy, and damp here. I am brushing off a few new recipes to make during the weekends. We are hoping for a nice weekend or two so we can view the fall colors!

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Oct 05, 2014 @ 20:40:44

      Yes, it is starting to cool down. dry though. I invested in a digital electric pressure cooker that can also be used as a slow cooker and am as well dusting off old favorites and reading about new ideas. I’m working on a vegetable stew as well. This is a rich recipe but I know you know ways to cut down on some of the fat and sodium. I’m looking forward to the fall colors – it’s been dry so the colors will occur sooner. Part of my trip of taking mama from Tampa to TN entailed going through some of the lovely TN mountains. No color there yet but they are having cool rainy weather so I imagine they’ll get colors in a couple of weeks.

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      Reply

      • Bernice
        Oct 06, 2014 @ 12:46:04

        Yes, I think the colors will arrive any time – and then they go quickly! I am also going through recipe books and my wish list of recipes to start planning more stews, casseroles and other fun foods. I have to use my pressure cooker that I got for Christmas. I am hoping in a couple of weeks to start using it. Time just goes by too quickly!

        Reply

        • kanzensakura
          Oct 06, 2014 @ 12:57:16

          I am a huge proponent of pressure cookers. I use mine all through the year to cut down on time, energy and…heat in the summer. I buy chicken breasts on sale – boneless or bone in, and cook a bunch of them at one time to freeze for later use. The broth gets strained and defatted and some put in with the cooked chicken breast meat (2 cup portions) and in individual freezer bags. Many times when I am doing up the chicken breasts, I add a tsp or two of the paste soup base to enhance the flavor and lay the ground work for broths for future soups and sauces. In the long run, the few hours you invest help save a lot of time and add future convenience without convenience food price and additives.

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          Reply

          • Bernice
            Oct 06, 2014 @ 21:30:25

            Sounds like a wonderful idea! I love getting a step ahead when I can. Hopefully I can make the pressure cooker work for me as it does for you!

            Reply

            • kanzensakura
              Oct 06, 2014 @ 21:53:33

              I actually invested in one of those electric, digital pressure cookers that also double as a slow cooker. The lure of QVC and an amazing deal of the day did it. I am in l.o.v.e with it….truly.

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              Reply

  2. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Nov 04, 2014 @ 13:32:35

    This sounds so rich and creamy. Mega calories too. 🙂

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Nov 04, 2014 @ 13:51:42

      It can be trimmed down: fat free sour cream, reduced fat margarine, reduced fat crackers..the meat is lean and if you use reduced fat potato chips, you are making the casserole with less calories. I frequently use the baked potato chips for my husband and towards the end of the bag, I use them for this. My aunt will pour out the last of the potato chips in the bag onto a paper towel to help absorb the fat. like me, she just puts them on top of the casserole w/o any added fat, oil, or butter. The crackers, with the butter added, add a lot of extra fat and calories.

      Reply

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