Unforgettable Chicken Casserole is truly a delightful dish for people who like crunchy foods. Featuring chicken, chopped celery, chopped water chestnuts and slivered or sliced almonds and topped with French fried onion rings, Unforgettable Chicken Casserole provides maximum crunchiness! The main ingredients are bound together with a mixture of sour cream, mayonnaise and cream of chicken soup.
Reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup and light versions of sour cream and mayonnaise may be used in this recipe without affecting the quality of this dish. If you don’t have time to cook some chicken, pick up a rotisserie chicken from your grocer to use in this casserole.
I’ve had this recipe for some time, in fact, it was featured in the December 2004 issue of Southern Living contributed by Kay Regnier of Winterville, North Carolina. Thanks, Kay, this one’s definitely a “keeper!”
Preheat the oven to 350°F. and grease or spray an 11-inch X 7-inch baking dish. Place the chicken, celery, Cheddar cheese, almonds and water chestnuts in a large bowl. Combine the sour cream, mayonnaise and cream of chicken soup in a smaller bowl and mix together well.
Add the sour cream mixture to the chicken mixture and mix until well combined. Spoon into a baking dish.
Bake at 350°F. for 40 minutes. Sprinkle onion rings over the top of the casserole evenly. Return Unforgettable Chicken Casserole to the oven for 5 more minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Let casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Casseroles are a staple at family gatherings, church socials and pot-luck suppers as well as appearing on our everyday menus frequently. To my way of thinking, casseroles fall into the “comfort food” category as they usually are just simple fare – a source of protein, some vegetables, often some cheese, perhaps something crunchy like nuts and a binder in some form of liquid or other substance to hold everything together.
Unforgettable Chicken Casserole is great reheated the next day so don’t be afraid the recipe is too large for 2 people. This casserole is so delightful that you won’t have to worry about leftovers! Bake an Unforgettable Chicken Casserole soon and please those at your table with a distinctive treat!
Remember to Savor the Flavor!
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What can beat the convenience of a one-dish meal simmering in a pot on the stove or in a slow cooker, filling the house with fragrant aromas? Nothing answers that question but soup! I mentioned in a recent post Simple Soothing Soup that to me soup is liquid comfort food. Soup is a delight to the senses of taste and smell as well as being satisfying to a ravenous appetite!
Making Your Own Soup
Advantages to making your own soup include:
*It will taste better than any canned soup you could buy, especially if you use fresh ingredients.
*You have a variety of soups from which to choose – hot or cold, sweet or savory, thick or thin, bland or spicy.
*You can control what ingredients go into your soup, including spices, herbs and other flavorings.
*You control the amount of sodium and fat that is in your soup.
*You can make a large amount of soup at one time and freeze it in smaller containers for future use. (Exception: soups with milk or cream don’t freeze well.)
*You can blend or puree the soup to a smooth consistency, especially nice for those with dental or oral problems.
Two Recipes – Key West Black Bean Soup and Lentil Soup Crescenti Style
Key West Black Bean Soup is adapted from a recipe given me years ago by a representative of Eatem Soup Bases. Chicken Soup Base may be used in this recipe in place of chicken bouillon cubes. (I just happened to have the bouillon cubes in my pantry.) Before making this soup, I cooked chicken breasts in water until they were done and then I used the broth from cooking the chicken breasts as part of the liquid for this soup, instead of using water.
Key West Black Bean Soup could also be made in a slow cooker. Just put all the ingredients, including the chicken, in the slow cooker and cook on low for 5-8 hours. Whether cooked in a pot on top of the stove or in a slow cooker, if you desire a thicker soup just mash a few of the beans against the side of the pot to thicken the broth. The complete recipe may be found by clicking here.
Key West Black Bean Soup
A Brief History about Slow Cookers and Mable Hoffman
The recipe for Lentil Soup Crescenti Style first appeared in Crockery Cookery, probably the first cookbook ever written with recipes for slow cookers, which we all called Crock Pots in those days. (Crock Pots are to slow cookers as Kleenex are to tissues, Band-Aids are to bandages, Jello is to gelatin – you get the picture.)
Slow Cookers or Crock Pots first arrived on the scene in the 1970’s. Millions of them were sold in the ’70’s as they were marketed to working women who could put food in the slow cooker before leaving for work and come home to a hot cooked meal. Slow cooker sales dropped off in the ’80’s, probably with the introduction of the microwave oven.
Mable Hoffman authored Crockery Cookery which became a New York Times Bestseller in 1975 because she was definitely at the right place at the right time as new owners of slow cookers were clamoring for recipes specifically designed for them. She published 18 cookbooks over a span of 25 years, with one-third of them dedicated to the slow cooker. She personally built a collection of slow cookers so large she eventually lost count of how many she owned.
She also worked as a Food Stylist for Better Homes and Gardens and was a consultant and recipe developer for Sunkist Growers. She died in 2010 at the age of 88. Thanks to Mable Hoffman for leading the way in revolutionizing cooking for the working woman!
The popularity of slow cookers has waxed and waned over the years but a survey by Consumer Reports in 2011 reported that 83% of American families owned a slow cooker. Slow cookers are as popular as ever!
The design has changed very little over time except now most slow cookers have a removable insert, making cleaning easier. Some of the newest models have temperature controls and timers and one even has a refrigerated setting so food can be placed into it the night before. Fancy!
Lentil Soup Crescenti Style is a hearty soup with beef neck bones (soup bones), carrots, potatoes, onion, celery, tomatoes and lentils, flavored with marjoram. After cooking for several hours, the beef bones are removed from the soup and the meat is cut off and returned to the pot with the cabbage and zucchini. For the complete recipe, click here.
Slow cookers are nice to have in the hot weather months as the kitchen doesn’t get hot when using the slow cooker to prepare a meal. On a cold day it’s a treat to come in from work or play and smell a wonderful soup waiting for you to eat.
Soup is simple, warm, soothing, and basically “comfort food” in liquid form! I love soup, particularly in the fall and winter. My first memories of soup are of the “canned” variety, primarily vegetable soup with alphabet letters, chicken noodle soup (when I had a cold) and cream of celery soup. … Continue reading →
When family or special friends are coming to my home to share a meal I always want to serve some of my “most favored” recipes – what I refer to as “company worthy” food! We all have tried and trusted recipes that we fall back on when we want visitors … Continue reading →