Church Supper Chicken Casserole

Church Supper Chicken Casserole

Church Supper Chicken Casserole

Happy Spring, friends.  I do believe that Spring is finally starting to show signs of it’s arrival, and for me that means getting organized.  So this week has been a closet organizing, cob-web dusting, house cleaning kind of week.  This time of year always has me rearranging things for a fresh perspective, but this year I have an additional reason for doing so.

In just a few days I will be having surgery to replace the worn-out joint in my right knee.  Since I don’t know exactly what I’ll be capable of doing while healing and therapy take place, I’m doing some extra cooking (freezing meals),  clothes preparation (getting out the warm weather clothes), and trying to plan ahead for any events that may arise.    It will  be some time before I get back to my cooking adventures and writing to tell you about them.  In the mean time I have some posts ready to self-publish in my absence, but they will not be as frequent as you have been accustomed to.

The recipe that I’m sharing with you today is one that goes back quite a few years and was introduced to members of our church by our pastor, the first woman to be ordained in our church.  She always made this chicken and broccoli dish for our church suppers, and it became known as “Rosemary’s Chicken Casserole”.   Over the years I’ve taken a few liberties with the recipe and adapted it to use leftovers whenever I have some cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken on hand.

Chicken and Broccoli casserole with mashed sweet potatoes and salad.

Chicken and Broccoli casserole with mashed sweet potatoes and salad.

I include here the original recipe if you would like to make it the way it was intended, plus some notes on how I modify it to use leftovers.

Rosemary’s Church Supper Chicken Casserole

Yield:   Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breasts ( or 3-4 cups cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken)IMG_9482
  • 2 packages frozen broccoli (or 1 large head fresh broccoli)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup stuffing mix ( Pepperidge Farm or other)

Note:  the recipe can be easily halved for a smaller quantity.  If you do this, use only one can of soup, (Here, I’ve used cream of celery).   1/2 cup milk, and 1/4 cup mayonnaise.

Directions:

1.  Simmer chicken breasts in a small amount of water until cooked.  Cool and debone.

2.  Cook frozen broccoli, or fresh broccoli, if using.

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Place broccoli in a large casserole that has been prepared with cooking spray.  For half the recipe use an 8″ or 9″ square baking dish.  Cover with pieces of cooked chicken.

Cover broccoli with pieces of cooked chicken.

Cover broccoli with pieces of cooked chicken.

Preheat oven to 350*F.

3.  Make the sauce by whisking together the soups, milk and mayonnaise.

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Pour over the chicken and broccoli.

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4.  Sprinkle the cheese over the sauce,

Add grated cheese over sauce.

Add grated cheese over sauce.

then place the stuffing mix on top.

Top with stuffing mix.

Top with stuffing mix.

5.  Bake at 350*F. for 25 – 30 minutes until top is browned and bubbly.

Hot and bubbly.  Yum, so good!

Hot and bubbly. Yum, so good!

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SOURCE:  Recipes From the Heart

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Baked Gnocchi with Chicken

Baked Gnocchi with Chicken

Baked Gnocchi with Chicken

Rotisserie chickens are so useful when you want to cook a dish requiring cooked chicken.  Whenever I buy a rotisserie chicken we always have the first meal from it as you would any roast chicken with appropriate side dishes and/or salad.  But the amount of cooked chicken that is left is a sizable quantity–I can usually get two more meals from it.  (Remember there are just two of us here.)  So that gives me plenty of opportunity to search out recipes that use cooked chicken in them.

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Besides making good use of the rotisserie chicken, this recipe also includes gnocchi, those little Italian potato dumplings that I’ve already introduced you to here.  It also includes fresh baby spinach and mushrooms in a very light cream sauce. The casserole is baked and then briefly run under the broiler, so the Parmesan cheese on top gets browned and crusty. As you can see by what’s left, we loved it!

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BAKED GNOCCHI AND CHICKEN

Yield:   Makes 4 servings

Chicken, gnocchi, spinach and mushrooms in a light cream sauce with cheese.

Chicken, gnocchi, spinach and mushrooms in a light cream sauce with cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1  1/2 cups whole milk ( I used 2% milk.  The added fat in the milk helps to thicken the sauce.)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat cut into small pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1  (16-oz) package potato gnocchi
  • 1  1/2 cups loosely packed baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)

Directions:

1.  Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425*F.

2.  Heat the olive oil in a deep ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to a plate, and reuse the skillet.

Browning the mushrooms.

Browning the mushrooms.

3.  Melt the butter in the skillet over low heat; add the flour and cook, whisking, 3 minutes.  Whisk in the milk and chicken broth until smooth; simmer, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon salt and the nutmeg.

Making the sauce .

Making the sauce .

4.  Add the chicken, mushrooms, gnocchi and spinach to the sauce and stir until coated and the spinach wilts.

Add chicken and gnocchi.

Add chicken and gnocchi.

Stir in the spinach.

Stir in the spinach.

Sprinkle with the parmesan, transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes.  Turn on the broiler; broil until lightly browned on top, about 3 more minutes.

The cheese topping gets browned and crispy,

The cheese topping gets browned and crispy,

Make a salad to go with it and you've got a meal.

Make a salad to go with it and you’ve got a meal.

SOURCE:   Food Network Magazine

Turkey Tetrazzini

Turkey Tetrazzini

Turkey Tetrazzini

Got lots of leftover turkey?  This is a great recipe to help you use it up.  Even those who may not like turkey will eat this.  It is a creamy casserole that makes use of frozen vegetables and fresh mushrooms.  It may also be made with chicken, so it can be enjoyed most any time.

Turkey Tetrazzini originated early in the 20th century, and was named for Louisa Tetrazzini, an Italian operatic soprano.  It was poured over pasta with mushrooms and almonds, then sprinkled with cheese and baked in the oven.  There are many variations of it available if you do a search,  some made with convenience foods, others made from “scratch”.  This recipe is mainly from scratch which I prefer so that I can control the amount of fat and sodium it contains.

I like to serve it with cranberry sauce or cranberry relish and a salad.

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TURKEY TETRAZZINI

Yield:   Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta, broken into thirds

    Not too many ingredients go into this casserole.

    Not too many ingredients go into this casserole.

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard powder
  • 1  1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 (10 oz.) package frozen petite peas, thawed
  • 1 ( 8-oz) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 cups cooked turkey, cut into chunks
  • 1/2  cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup crushed garlic-and-onion seasoned croutons
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 *F.  Spray or grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish, or 2 smaller baking dishes ( 11 x 7-inch) if freezing some.

2.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook as package directs until pasta is still slightly firm.  Drain.

3.  Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion; cook and stir until tender.  Stir in the flour until blended, then gradually stir in the milk so that no lumps form.  Season with salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and mustard.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.

4.  Remove from heat and add 1 cup cheese;  stir in,  then add the peas, mushrooms, turkey, and pasta.  Stir to coat with the sauce.  Pour into prepared baking dish ( or dishes).

Everything combined in the baking dish.

Everything combined in the baking dish.

5.  Make topping:   In a small bowl, mix together the crushed croutons, remaining 1/2 cup cheddar, the Parmesan cheese and paprika.   Sprinkle over the top.

Topping sprinkled over it.

Topping sprinkled over it.

Cover with foil and bake at 375* for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes, until topping is browned and sauce is bubbling.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

After baking.

After baking.

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Note:  Casserole may be assembled and frozen up to 1 month.  Thaw in the refrigerator overnight;  bake, covered, at 375*F for 40 minutes.  Uncover and bake 15 minutes more or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

SOURCE:   Myrecipes.com

For another recipe that uses leftover turkey, check out my recipe for Turkey Frame Soup.

Crusty Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Onions

Crusty Potatoes with Tomatoes and Onions

Potatoes are one vegetable that seem to have limitless ways to prepare them.  I love potatoes in all forms, however Mr. D.  can be a little particular about how he likes his potatoes, preferring them to be more “fancy” than plain.  He would say “interesting, not boring”.  And  so I try to find recipes that fit the bill.

Flipping through one of my vegetarian cookbooks recently I came upon this recipe for “the spud” that combines potatoes with tomatoes and onions.  The onions and tomatoes caramelize and create an irresistible crust in this country-style casserole.  For a vegetarian meal just add a salad and some bread.  When I made it I served it with pan sautéed fish fillets and a salad.   The next day I had the leftovers with a poached egg;  also a very satisfying meal.  I know that I will be making this casserole many more times as it seems to fit into many meal combinations.  Both Mr. D. and I liked it very much.  It’s the kind of dish where you keep going back for one more bite!.

Please note that I made half a recipe, using one large and three small(ish) potatoes and the resulting dish in my opinion would serve four people, so the recipe as written will make quite a large amount.

CRUSTY POTATOES, TOMATOES, AND ONIONS

SERVINGS:   4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 medium (about 2 pounds) potatoes, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 3 large onions, halved vertically and thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  28-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup fruity olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.   Lightly grease a 12″ x 7″ x 2″ baking dish or other 2 1/2 quart ovenproof shallow dish.

Slice potatoes evenly.

2.  In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, onions, garlic and tomatoes.

Combine potatoes, tomatoes and onions in a large bowl.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, olive oil, water, oregano, salt and pepper.   Pour over the vegetable mixture and toss to coat well.

Combine tomato paste, water, olive oil and seasonings.

Pour seasoning mixture over vegetables and toss well to coat.

4.  Spread this mixture in the prepared baking dish.

Ready for the oven. Cover with foil before baking.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 45 minutes longer, or until the potatoes are easily pierced and tender.

Crusty Potatoes with Tomatoes and Onion

SOURCE:     Quick Vegetarian Pleasures,  Jeanne Lemlin

Shepherd’s Pie with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

Shepherd’s Pie with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

This recipe takes me back–way back–to when I was growing up.  Shepherd’s Pie was a casserole dish that my mother made frequently  because it was a favorite of my father’s.  He also loved horseradish, and often told my brother and me about how his grandfather grew horseradish, and ground it fresh, so it was really tangy and hot, with no added ingredients to tame it down. So he grew up with a taste for the real thing fresh from the garden.  Maybe I have a “gene” for horseradish, inherited from my father.  However I came by it, I like it  pretty well too, and I use it like relish to garnish some meats(like corned beef), and add it to other dishes just for the flavor it imparts.  Mashed potatoes is one of those dishes.  So—combine horseradish flavored mashed potatoes with a meat and vegetable pie and you’ve got one deeelish dish.  However if the thought of adding horseradish to your mashed potatoes doesn’t appeal to you just leave it out.

The other thing this casserole has going for it is parsnips.  Yep, parsnips.  Not a vegetable that gets a whole lot of press, and that’s a shame because parsnips add a lot of sweetness to whatever they are cooked with, or they are wonderful on their own either roasted or baked.  As a matter of fact, I will most likely be cooking parsnips again soon as I now have half a bag to use up after making this dish.

HORSERADISH-MASHED POTATO SHEPHERD’S PIE

SERVINGS:    4

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks.
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pounds ground beef sirloin
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 Tablespoons chopped green onions or chives

DIRECTIONS

1.  Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water and bring to a boil.   Salt the water, lower the heat and simmer until fork-tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain, then mash with the milk, egg and horseradish, until light and fluffy.  Season with salt and pepper.

Sautee the onions a little.

2.  In a deep, large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, parsnips, carrots and bay leaf.  Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until crisp tender, 8 – 10 minutes.

Add carrots, parsnip and bay leaf.

3.  Crumble the beef into the pan and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle on the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Crumble in the beef, then sprinkle flour over the top.

Stir in the beef broth and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.  Season with Worcestershire sauce.  Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper as needed.  Discard the bay leaf.

4.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Grease a shallow, medium casserole dish;  add the meat mixture and top with the mashed potatoes.  Bake until golden and heated through.  Sprinkle chives or green onions on top before serving.

Hot out of the oven, ready to be served.

SOURCE:   A Carolyn Original

Crab Imperial

Crab Imperial

With the remains of the crabmeat my husband brought home  I made this dish.  In a sense it was an experiment because  I had not made it before, but I had all the ingredients on hand so I gave it a try.

Before I get to the recipe I thought I would share with you some facts about crabmeat.  Fresh crab meat will keep in your refrigerator for about 3 days, but  crabmeat which has been pasteurized will keep for several months in the refrigerator.  One pound of crabmeat equals 3 cups.  Crabmeat is packaged as follows:

  • Backfin, or Lump:  Solid lumps of white meat from the body muscles of the crab—the best!  It contains very little shell or cartilage, and is preferable in special recipes such as Crab Imperial or Crabmeat Salad.
  • Regular:  Small pieces of savory white meat from the body.  Still considered excellent, but takes more picking over for cartilage and shell removal.  Great for crab cakes, casseroles, salad, dips, etc.
  • Special:  A mixture of backfin and regular; also fine for dishes listed above.
  • Claws:  Meat from claws has a brownish tint, and comes in thin pieces.  It’s mostly used where appearance isn’t important.

The crabmeat that I had came from two large crab legs, part of which I had already used for the crab cakes, and what was left weighed about half pound, so I made only half of the following recipe.  The full recipe makes 4-5 servings.

CRAB IMPERIAL

SERVINGS:  4-5

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 3 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1 pound crabmeat, backfin or lump preferred
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 10-15 Ritz crackers, crushed

DIRECTIONS

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a shallow baking dish or individual shell dishes.

2.  Remove any shell or cartilage  from crab meat.  Mix together all ingredients except crabmeat.  Gently stir in crabmeat.

3.  Put mixture in prepared baking dish(es).  Mix crushed crackers with the melted butter, then sprinkle on top of crab mixture.   Bake for 15-20  minutes.

My Evaluation:

Although we both liked the dish as prepared and presented here, I think if I make it again I would modify it in the following ways:  Add a few bay scallops and shrimp to the mixture for some variety in texture. Because the crab I used came from the legs, the pieces were small, and therefore there wasn’t enough “chew” factor.  The overall color of the dish was rather bland, so I would add some chopped green onion, maybe some roasted red pepper for color. Lastly I think it would be more enticing if it were served in a small pastry shell like phyllo cups.  These are just a few thoughts “in hind-sight” for anyone who decides to make it.  If you make it and have some good ideas to improve upon the recipe I would be interested to hear about it.

Crab Imperial

SOURCE:   Savory Shellfish Recipes of the Shore