Tuesday, October 8, 2013
POPPY SEED CHICKEN CASSEROLE
Back in the first couple weeks of parenthood, when people were bringing us lots of meals, we were given this awesome poppy seed chicken casserole. It was delicious and buttery with a Ritz cracker topping, and we were told to eat it with peas and a can of jellied cranberry sauce. It was amazing.
Conrad and I ate three quarters of the casserole at dinner, and had the rest for lunch the next day (though a normal family might eat half and have half for leftovers). The whole time, we were talking about how good it was, and how we never thought to eat cranberry sauce outside of Thanksgiving.
I looked up the recipe, and there are several different kinds. I made one version last week and thought I had to share it! There are four layers: rice, chicken, sauce, and topping.
Prepare your rice. When we first had the casserole, it was with short-grain rice (the sticky kind) like what you'd see in a Japanese restaurant. I only had long grain basmati rice (like in Indian food), and it worked out fine, though I preferred the sticky rice. Spread it in the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
Cook your chicken however you prefer. I boiled it in water, but you could also cook it in broth or bake it or crock pot it. Shred or cube once cooked, then layer on top of the rice.
In a bowl mix together one can of Cream of Chicken soup, 1 cup light sour cream, and 2-3 tablespoons of milk to thin it out. Season with garlic salt, black pepper, and onion powder. Spread on top of the chicken.
In another bowl, melt 1 stick of butter. Crush two sleeves of Ritz crackers and add to the butter. Stir to coat, and then stir in 2 teaspoons of poppy seeds. Sprinkle on top of the casserole.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees uncovered.
Serve with something green, like peas, green beans, or a salad. Now go out and get yourself a Costco-size case of cranberry sauce cans (we like the jellied kind - no berries for us!) so you can eat this for the rest of your life. You'll have leftovers (maybe. It's really delicious, so maybe not) for a couple lunches, and it microwaves well.
To make your cooking experience even better:
Have a super adorable kitchen companion who smiles and coos in his bouncer.