Mourning the loss of Eilish, feeling angry, sad and scared, and with the weather here turning damp, dreary and chilly with intermittent rain, I wanted comfort food.
I didn't care about fat, calories or carbs. I didn't want anything fancy or frou-frou. I wanted warm, hearty and home-cooked. I wanted something simple that wouldn't keep me in the kitchen for long and something I could whip up while the kids were in school.
So I made my favorite comfort food: chicken casserole.
I don't remember from where I originally obtained this recipe, but I've seen similar recipes on the internet. One version is called "Poppy Seed Chicken," and as its name suggests, it includes poppy seeds. My finicky family would reject a food filled with black specks, so I've always omitted the poppy seeds. Besides, I don't think they're necessary. We like this meal just fine without them. No, make that, we like this meal A LOT without them.
This is a family favorite. The kids always give it a "yum!" But what's not to like? It's chicken covered in a rich, creamy coating and topped with buttery cracker crumbs. It's not health food. It's not fine dining. It's the ultimate in comfort food.
The recipe calls for cooked chicken that's been cubed or shredded, which gives you options. For one, you could buy a roasted chicken at the grocery store. You could use left-over chicken. Or, you could do what I do and boil four boneless breasts in chicken stock or broth with a few spices thrown in the pot for added taste. Sometimes, I even add an onion, carrots and celery to the pot. (Like Emeril, I give it the old mirepoix "BAM!")
I had intended to take a picture of the casserole fresh out of the oven, but Gregg started serving the kids before I had a chance. (He didn't realize I was going to blog about our dinner.) So I snapped the above "half-cass" shot. Then I took some plate shots, but honestly, when a portion of this casserole sits on your plate, it just looks like a blob of chickeny goodness. Yes, a blob. There's just no way to make this dish look pretty. So I decided to show you the end result of our dinner. Here it is below. :)
4 boneless chicken breasts
16 oz. sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 sleeves of Ritz crackers, crushed
1 stick of butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9" x12" casserole dish.
Boil and shred the chicken.
Mix the sour cream and soups together, and then add the shredded chicken.
Spoon chicken mixture into prepared casserole dish.
Cover with crushed crackers.
Melt butter and pour on top of crackers.
Bake for 40 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and topping is lightly browned.